Ghost Town Ghost Town is diverting enough, but it's also the kind of high-concept studio concoction Ricky Gervais might have ridiculed in his great backstage-showbiz sitcom Extras… Ghost Town Ghost Town is diverting enough, but it's also the kind of high-concept studio concoction Ricky Gervais might have ridiculed in his great backstage-showbiz sitcom Extras… 2008-09-19 PG-13 PT103M Comedy Ricky Gervais Greg Kinnear Tea Leoni DreamWorks
Movie Review

Ghost Town (2008)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Ricky Gervais, Ghost Town | HE'S ALIVE! Ricky Gervais sees dead people in Ghost Town
Image credit: Sarah Shatz
HE'S ALIVE! Ricky Gervais sees dead people in Ghost Town
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Release Date: Sep 19, 2008; Rated: PG-13; Length: 103 Minutes; Genre: Comedy; With: Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear; Distributor: DreamWorks

Ghost Town is diverting enough, but it's also the kind of high-concept studio concoction Ricky Gervais might have ridiculed in his great backstage-showbiz sitcom Extras. The British comic plays Bertram Pincus, a misanthropic dentist in New York City who develops an ability to see dead people; to be specific, the dead are noodgy, solid-looking ghosts of the type that populated the Cary Grant movie Topper. Each has unfinished
 business with the living for which they want Pincus to act as intermediary — and none 
is noodgier than a slick businessman (Greg Kinnear) who was cheating on his wife (Téa Leoni) when he bit the dust. Now the remorseful dead cad wants the living dentist to stop the good widow's impending second marriage to an unsuitably dull fellow (Billy Campbell).

Gervais, who created (with Stephen Merchant) the inimitable original BBC version of The Office and starred, unforgettably, as 
incompetent boss David Brent, specializes in the hilarity of human discomfort; he's a performer who works best when supported by characters as sharp and fully drawn as 
he is. Here, though, director David Koepp (the A-list screenwriter of Spider-Man, working from his own script) handles Gervais with nervous delicacy, as if the star is an odd import whose striking, foreign comedic
 persona needs to be cushioned by squishier, more familiar American displays of mildness. (Kinnear and Leoni, too, are muted.)

Maybe now Gervais can do his own sitcom about a unique British comedian who comes to conquer Hollywood, only to find himself cast in a generic 1930s-type happy-ending romp about dentists and noodgy ghosts. B-

More with Ricky Gervais:
Dave Karger talks comedy with Ricky Gervais at the Toronto Film Festival

Originally posted Sep 16, 2008 Published in issue #1013 Sep 26, 2008 Order article reprints