Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past


Directed by: Mark Waters
Written by:Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Michael Douglas, Breckin Meyer, Lacey Chabert, Robert Forster
Released: May 7, 2009
Grade: C+

Connor Mead (McConaughey) thinks that he has a dream life. Working as a high-profile fashion photographer, Connor usually spends his day in the company of beautiful, scantily clothed women. Funnily enough, his nights are the same. Women throw themselves at Connor and it doesn’t take much effort to lure them back to his bedroom. He’s slept with countless ladies over the years and he has no intention of ever getting married.

Ah, but things are about to change. Connor returns home for the wedding of his younger brother, Paul (Meyer). At a special wedding eve dinner, Connor drunkenly disgraces himself in front of everyone. He proclaims that marriage is an outdated institution and that love doesn’t really exist.

After heading off to the bathroom to freshen up, Connor is visited by the ghost of his late uncle, Wayne (Douglas). He too led a womanising lifestyle but he has returned from the grave to warn Connor against making the same mistakes. Wayne tells him that he will be visited by three ghosts to help highlight the error of his ways.

Where is this leading, you may ask? Connor’s first girlfriend and childhood sweetheart, Jenny Perotti (Garner), just so happens to be at the wedding and is part of the bridal party. Both have feelings for the other but fate has kept them apart. Can these ghosts turn Connor into a new man and help him land his dream girl?

I’m not a fan of the romantic comedy genre and no, I didn’t like this film. I found it superficial and manipulative. The message is quite clear – guys who sleep around with hundreds of girls and who don’t believe in love will end up lonely and miserable.

I am not saying that message is flawed but what I struggled with is the way it was presented. As previously mentioned, there are many women, including the bridesmaids, who are just as "slutty" as Connor. These details are glazed over and the focus is making Connor looking like the biggest dirt bag possible. No points for subtlety.

Also puzzling were the bride and groom to be. Sandra (Chabert) is very highly strung and I couldn’t understand why Paul was going to marry her. There’s a very strange moment where she loses her cool after learning that the dinner salad didn’t contain figs. What was the point of this scene? If it was intended to highlight her pre-wedding jitters then it was lost on me. I saw her as a lunatic.

I’m straining to come up with a positive comment but I did like the performance of Jennifer Garner. She’s sweet, not too over-the-top. Sadly, she doesn’t share a lot of scenes with Connor which makes it hard to see the chemistry between them.

Directed by Mark Waters (Just Like Heaven, Mean Girls), this is yet another flick which fails to deliver what the genre promises – romance and comedy.