Can the romantic comedy genre be out of steam? To me, it sure seems that way when:
- Matthew McConaughey is once again chalked up to be the leading man.
- The bottom of the barrel is scraped by stealing the plot devices of A Christmas Carol to tell the story.
In a sentence, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is the epitome of all that is bad with Hollywood now.
McConaughey is Connor Mead, a brazen womanizing douchebag who believes women are put on this Earth for his sole pleasure and satisfaction — they are his conquest and once he’s finished, he summarily dispatches them to netherworld. All because, it turns out, that he bares scars from his first girlfriend Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner). And wouldn’t you know it, years later at the wedding of his brother Paul (Breckin Meyer), she shows up. It’s here on the eve of the wedding, after making a mockery of the whole institution, that the ghost of his uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas) shows up to tell him that he’ll be visited by three ghosts who will show him the error of his ways. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how it will all end, but it would have been helpful to have one on hand to figure out how to abort the takeoff.
Not only doesn’t Ghosts of Girlfriends Past have much originality to it (yes, Mead does an about face and becomes the perfect gentleman), it also suffers from being, for lack of a better word, crude. The words and actions highlighted by Mead are, even from a guy’s perspective, downright dirty. How or why a woman would fall over herself to be used as a piece of meat is beyond me and watching it isn’t exactly something I call entertainment (I too, believe it or not, have boundaries). Taking it a notch further, so as to not make it look like only guys are promiscuous dirtballs, the bridesmaids are all horny, homewrecking whores too (I hear they make great company if you can find them in real life though).
Oh yeah, and then to add insult to injury, we’re supposed to believe that in the course of a single night, when life and limb are not at stake and there is no real vested interest, a man who has spent his entire life dominating women is suddenly going to stop. More bewildering than that is everyone around him, including the love of his life Jenny (who incidentally knows his track record), are going to believe that this miraculous transformation has actually occurred. Where is everyone living, Never Never Land? Where is Peter Pan?
No one escapes criticism for this catastrophe. Mark Waters, you’re a much better director than this (Mean Girls) — there was no way you were going to make this work, so you shouldn’t have tried. Jennifer Garner, you were adorable in Juno, but you’ve just now pissed away that all the goodwill you earned from it. And lastly, Matthew McConaughey. It’s time to pull your head out of your overly-muscled ass and stop with the piss poor romantic comedies. I would have thought the mess that was Fool’s Gold would have been enough to wake you from your self-induced charm coma. I guess not.
I only wish there was a ghost around to have warned me to not see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past — I would have surely taken heed. This is your warning. I hope your listening.