Matthew McConaughey’s latest lazy vehicle, “Ghosts of Girlfriend Past,” mixes a little bit of A Christmas Carol with every rom-com trope out there. Here, McConaughey plays a womanizing bachelor who learns some valuable lessons about life and love from a beautiful woman, so it’s pretty much “How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” circa 2009.
“Ghosts” tells the story of Connor Mead (McConaughey), a successful photographer who prides himself on his skills with the ladies. He’s had a lot of training in the fine art of bachelorhood; his Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas, in a very unsettling and stomach-churning role), who raised him, has some very special advice: no spooning and no emotional attachment.
Of course, when his brother gets married, Connor is forced to return to his hometown, where he is reintroduced to Jenny (Jennifer Garner), a woman he has known his entire life, and the only woman he has never gotten over.
Chaos ensues: Connor ruins the wedding, alienates himself once again from Jenny and then three ghosts appear, predictably bringing about a change of heart in this unworthy man.
The film’s screenplay was its biggest problem. It seems as if the producers spliced together a sweet, PG-13 love story with a raunchy, R-rated comedy to create one big uneven mess. In one scene, Jenny would be talking about her feelings for Connor, and the next, the bridesmaids would be talking in great detail about their sexual escapades. The women in the film really shined. Emma Stone, as usual, is right on point as the ghost of girlfriends past. Stone is definitely a star on the rise.
“Ghosts” may make you laugh occasionally, but it will mostly confuse you. Ultimately, it’s a mindless compilation of attractive people, cheesy dialogue and a happy ending, which will probably do very well at the box office.