One of the dead people who enters his life to ‘annoy’ Pincus is Frank Herlihy a philandering husband who was killed several years ago in an accident just moments after his wife finds out he has been cheating on her with a younger woman. Herlihy is played with the perfect balance of arrogant narcisisam and charismatic charm by the totally under rated Greg Kinnear. Herlihy has discovered that his wife is about to remarry and he wants the totally unwilling Pincus to help him stop her marriage to man Herlihy thinks is ‘using her’.
Gwen Herlihy the cheated on then widowed wife is played by Tea Leoni who is one of those actresses who has the rare gift to be able to bring a sort of ‘everyday woman’ type of beauty and grace to any role she comes into.
Much of the movie is taken up with both Pincus and Herlihy having to deal with the one major obstacle to Herlihy’s plans for Pincus to intervene and stop the marriage. That obstical being that, up until now, Pincus has treated Gwen, who lives in the same building as he does, with his usual total distain and dismissal. Couple that with the subplot of all the other dead people who want Pincus to help them with something as well and it makes for a story that is steeped in character development that has a natural flow to it yet never really loses its comedy aspect along the way.
The only issue I had with Ghost Town, which is filled with a myriad of wonderful performances by actors in the many background characters, is that it went on for too overly long in many places and not long enough to tie up some ends left loose in others. The opening sequence which introduces us to Kinnear’s character of Frank Herlihy was way too drawn out and could have been tightened up considerably and the same with the major introduction scene to his widow, Gwen. Yet in contrast there were storylines that got either little or no forwarding explanation, especially the one with the ghost of the hitman which had potential to show a different aspect then what happened to the other ghosts seeking Pincus’s help.
However overall, Ghost Town is a gentle romantic ‘date movie’ that is saved from becoming a total ‘chick flick’ by Gervias’ delightful and at times gleeful turn as the cranky yet in the end likable Dr. Pincus and by comedic dialog so well written by David Koepp and John Kamps and delivered under the deft direction of David Koepp that you just can’t stop laughing.
Ghost Town is scheduled to premiere in theaters on September 19th.