Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (DVD)

This is yet another addition to McConaughey's ever-growing list of crap romantic comedies. Rarely has this performer appeared in anything of value and this flat, trite and lazy effort is no exception. Still, it isn't as bad as Fool's Gold so one must count one's blessings.

He plays a sleazy photographer with thousands of bedpost notchings thanks to the countless beautiful women he's slept with - he's even bedded three of the four bridesmaids at his younger brother's upcoming wedding that he's due to attend. One of them is childhood sweetheart Jenny (Garner), the one he foolishly let get away. At the wedding weekend country retreat he's visited by the ghost of his womanising uncle (Douglas, displaying Hugh Hefner traits) who lets him in on on the error of his ways.

The ghost of the first girl he ever slept with makes him revisit his youthful follies while the ghost of girlfriends present, actually a work colleague, shows him that his current unreconstructed behaviour is not eandearing to anyone. Gradually he sees the light and transforms himself into a caring guy but is it too late to salvage the predicaments he gets into in almost ruining the wedding, and will he finally be able to trust himself with caring Jenny?

One can't fault the players - they try hard. McConaughey's annoying but watchable, Garner convincingly vulnerable, Douglas enjoyably lecherous, but the script rarely zings with wit or humour and the comic timing is embarrassingly off-key. There's an overuse of background music, customary with commercial Hollywood fare, and the small dollops of pious sentimentality are vomit-inducing. Overall, it's horribly smug and sexist, and instantly forgettable. Don't waste your time.

EXTRAS * Just four deleted/extended scenes, and the theatrical trailer.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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