Ricky Gervais just might be the funniest guy around.
He sure doesn't make a show of it like Will Ferrell, or even Seth Rogen. Every line he speaks comes naturally to him, and his comedy flows beautifully because of it.
Such is the reason I was laughing, hard, for almost all of Ghost Town.
Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais) is a dentist. A mean dentist. In this case, I'll define mean as, "hating every single living person in New York City". He truly can't stand anyone.
To him, life is complicated: just try to make it from the apartment to the office and back again without speaking to anyone or interacting with anything. Too bad for him, life is about to get a little more complicated, because instead of having to avoid the living, he soon has to avoid the dead.
During a colonoscopy that goes horribly wrong, all because Pincus would not take the doctor's advice and skip the anesthetic, his heart stops for about seven minutes (excuse me, a bit less). And when he comes back, he seems to have a mysterious side effect - he can see, hear, and interact with ghosts.
And Manhattan is loaded with 'em. Tons and tons of ghosts who have unfinished business here. They wear what they died in, and can only go to their afterlife once their business becomes finished.
So explains Frank (Greg Kinnear) to Pincus. Pincus naturally can't believe what he is hearing, however the fact that he is so bitter towards the world makes it totally buyable that he would just become annoyed with the dead. Which is what he does.
Frank wants Pincus to help him with his unfinished business, since Pincus is the only one he can talk to. And naturally, so does every ghost in the city.
Finally Frank makes a deal with Pincus. If he can stop his widow, Gwen (Téa Leoni) from marrying a man he is sure is a bad guy, he will convince the other ghosts to leave Pincus alone. He reluctantly agrees, and the movie flows rather nicely right up to the end.
I'm not gonna lie, I really enjoyed this movie. I'm a big, big fan of Gervais' work, and he surely does not disappoint. The plot is original and everyone is good, including Leoni who usually does nothing for me. I thought she was very good in this one.
Also welcome was Kristin Wiig's small role. Her and Gervais really work well together, and I laughed the most when they shared the screen. Yet again, I have walked out of a theater with fond memories of Wiig's screen time.
However, one thing I couldn't quite understand was this: If the ghosts have unfinished business on Earth, and they have no way of interacting with humans, short of someone like Pincus who found a loophole in the system, what hopes would they ever have of leaving? Does that make Pincus some sort of Messiah? What happens when he dies for real? A little confusing.
But not enough to take me out of the movie. I strongly recommend it. That Ricky Gervais sure has some credibility.