Film » Film Capsules

Ghost Town

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Brit funnyman Ricky Gervais plays Dr. Bertram Pincus, an uptight, Scrooge-like dentist who’s so misanthropic, he likes the fact that his patients are often too numb to speak. But when Pincus encounters some health problems, he has to make an emergency trip to the hospital and wakes up to find out he came close to dying during an operation. As a result, once he’s revived, he can see dead people, and his life takes an abrupt turn. One of the ghosts that talks to him is a guy named Frank Herlihy (Kinnear), who’ll only leave Gervais alone if he agrees to break off his his engagement to widow Gwen (Tea Leoni). Bertram acquiesces but not because he likes Frank. In fact, he can’t stand him and ends up not only befriending Gwen but also the guy she plans to marry. As much as the movie’s about a guy so mean-spirited, he won’t even hold the elevator for anyone but himself, it’s also got a pretty big heart. Gervais, who helped develop the character with ideas of his own, is terrific, even if he’s not really good-looking enough for the part. HHH

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