Ever since his breakout role as clueless, clownish boss David Brent in the BBC version of The Office, Gervais has been fine-tuning the art of playing awkward, self-centered jerks who don't realize they're awkward, self-centered jerks. In his first Hollywood lead, Gervais again tackles just such a man Bertram Pincus, a misanthropic New York dentist who, after briefly flatlining during a routine colonoscopy, wakes up with the annoying ability to see ghosts. Enter the no-longer-living-but-equally-self-centered Kinnear, who begs Gervais to woo his widowed wife (Leoni) before she weds a humorless do-gooder (Billy Campbell). Says Gervais of his assault on the U.S.
multiplex: "Just what America wants a fat, British, middle-aged comedian trying to be a semi-romantic lead."
OUR TWO CENTS The premise sounds a bit high-concept, but Gervais' nasty wit should help. 9/19