Ghost Town David Koepp

Ghost Town David Koepp
Ghost Town was supposed to be the movie that brought British comedy icon Ricky Gervais fame in Hollywood. Gervais had already achieved global success with his brilliant study of awkward office dynamics and painful human behaviour in The Office. He then made the leap to North America with the brilliant HBO series Extras and even became the most popular live comedy act in Britain. It seemed like achieving Hollywood stardom would be the next logical step for Gervais and Ghost Town seemed like the ideal vehicle for him to do so. After all, the movie combined his bitter comedic voice with the mainstream vision of David Koepp, the most successful screenwriter in Hollywood. Yet, somehow the movie failed to catch on with the public, making only $23 million worldwide. It's quite surprising that Ghost Town didn't take off because it is easily the most accessible project the pudgy comedian has been involved with. Gervais stars as a bitter New York dentist who starts seeing ghosts after a surgery gone awry. He soon finds himself befriending a wisecracking ghost played by Greg Kinnear, who encourages the dentist to pursue a relationship with his former wife (Tea Leoni). The plot is pure Hollywood fantasy but it is told with a deft hand and a minimal amount of clichés from writer/director Koepp, who also manages to elicit some hysterical performances out of the entire cast (including some scene-stealing work from rising SNL star Kristen Wiig). While by no means groundbreaking in form or content, Ghost Town is at least far funnier than most of the garbage Hollywood craps out under the romantic comedy label. However, the lack of success proves that general audiences prefer their befuddled Brits to be of the more visually pleasing Hugh Grant variety. The movie is simply too mainstream for Gervais's alternative comedy fans but too idiosyncratic for general audiences. It's a fun and minor piece of escapism but little more. The DVD includes an absolutely hilarious commentary from Koepp and Gervais, in which the lovingly insult each other and mock the audiences for listening to a commentary track. Also on deck are a better-than-average EPK featurette and giggly outtakes that should please Gervais's ever-growing fan base. (Sony)