So the story goes, Ricky Gervais is positively inundated with scripts and projects from the general throngs of luvvies desperate to cling to his ample bosom. The postman has backache, he hasn't seen his doormat in years and all the while Ricky keeps everyone waiting, while he searches for the perfect screenplay. Something worthy of his enormous talent. Hmmm. What he finally settled on is the high concept of 'only certain people seeing ghosts' which, pun alert, has been quite literally, done to death.
Dr. Bertrum Pincus (Ricky Gervais) doesn't like people. At all. It might be why he's a dentist, but its definitely the reason he lives alone and does his best to communicate with not one soul. When in hospital for a routine bumjob Betrum dies for just under 7 minutes. When alive again he can see the deceased. As no-one else can see the ghosts, Dr.Pincus is soon followed by every spook in New York desperate for his help to move on. Chief spectre is Greg Kinnear, looking for Bertrum to stop his widow (Tea Leoni) remarrying. Will Bertum fall for Tea? Will he stop being misanthropic? Will I stop asking questions at the end of my 'plot paragraph'?
My opening diatribe might have been a bit harsh. I quite like Ricky Gervais. His stand-up always makes me chuckle, The Extras and The Office were not only funny and a good mirror of our times but also contained enough genuine pathos to give the tear ducts their daily cleanout (yes its daily now). In the eyes of many, however, he's in the 'Coldplay and Jamie Oliver' bracket where he's just become too successful for his own damn good. Tolerable in small doses, on a mass platter you'll be spewing in no time. Ghost Town couldn't be better evidence of this.
The poor script is written around his 'style' of acting. The dialogue is either putdowns or people babbling to each other (this last one is repeated as the one and only joke). All a vehicle to show Ricky to the world. While film is a collabartive process I need to chastise David Koepp for his by the numbers direction but I'll forgive most of the cast who just don't have much to do, so can't possibly do it badly. As for Ricky though, If asked why he's fucked off to the God Blessed US of A he will resolutley answer its because we don't make good films in Blighty. Nice to know they turn out shit over the pond too.