Ghost Town (2008). Directed by David Koepp. With Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear and Tea Leoni.
There is something distinctly Capra-esque about David Koepp’s Ghost Town, a film about a curmudgeonly Englishman in New York (Gervais) who gains the ability to (whisper it) “see dead people” after he briefly dies during a routine hospital procedure.
Gervais brings his damning sarcasm to what is a film that operates on the framework of the everyday US studio comedy. This works well all round, his fed-up-of-it-all demeanor is effective counter-programming against the tapestry of all things com and rom.
Ever since Woody Allen’s Manhattan, the best job in cinema has surely been shooting incidental shots of New York City. Ghost Town remembers this and begins by re-affirning the love affair as autumnal shots of NYC abound.
Tèa Leoni is the most likeable she’s been as the love interest, of sorts and Kristen Wiig elevates things (as she invariably does) in a small role.
Koepp is clearly inspired by some classic influences and manages to bottle some of them to good effect. The premise promises fun and for the most part delivers. By no means a classic but not without a few classic moments.