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This is Paul Hirsch

Paul Hirsch

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Ghost Town

Amy and I went to the movies last night. This is her birthday weekend; we had late-night dinner reservations at Chef Michael Symon’s Lola, and we decided to catch a movie before dinner. The last movie we went out to see was The Dark Knight, and a trip to the cinema was well overdue.

We went down the list of movies playing at the local icosikaitetrplex (that’s 24 screens, if you’re a little lax on your polyhedra naming conventions), and Ghost Town seemed like a fun movie to see – light, fun comedy, a nice before dinner movie we could watch and forget.

We were half-right. It was a fun comedy, and we did have enough time to see it before dinner. But this movie is not easily forgotten. This is the single best movie released in 2008 so far, in my opinion, of course. Nor is this movie particularly light, as it moves you masterfully through every emotion a movie can produce.

Synopsis: Bertram Pincus D.D.S. is a dentist and social hermit, who has an aversion to human contact of any kind (explained later in the movie). He is rude and insensitive, and he proactively avoids interaction with others at the expense of their well being. Through bizarre and hysterical circumstances, he becomes the one man on earth who is able to communicate with the dead, and he’s not exactly thrilled about all the attention he receives from his new “friends.”

Ricky Gervais from The Office (U.K. version) plays Pincus. He has the easiest job on the set – act like that guy you wish you could be all the time, but can’t be because people expect you to be pleasant. Greg Kinnear is Frank Herlihy, Dr. Pincus’s most persistent dead “patient.” Tea Leoni is everyone’s love-interest, Gwen.

I’m not typically a Tea Leoni fan. I’ve always found her to be coarse – she wears on me. I imagine her character from the movie Spanglish is what she’s like in real life (she’s probably a lovely woman, but what do I know). So I surprise even myself that I’ve loved two of her movies in a row, You Kill Me (highly underrated movie), and now Ghost Town.

Kinnear’s character is a smarmy, sarcastic smartass. Before you complain that this describes all of his characters, ask yourself whether you’re a Morgan Freeman fan. See? It is perfectly ok to enjoy an actor who plays the same exact role in every movie. It’s always nice to see an Alan Ruck cameo in a movie too. I’ve been rooting for his career ever since Ferris Beuller.

Go see this movie. Or if you like to save your theater experiences for big action movies, make sure you put Ghost Town on your to-rent list right away. It is, in my opinion, the best movie produced this year – yes, even more entertaining and evocative than Dark Knight.

It’s rare that I get to see a movie where I cannot find a flaw, but everything fit together so well, I can’t take off a point for anything!

Plot: *****
Acting: *****
General Entertainment Value: *****
Overall Score: *****