The Comedy Vault – Ghost Town.

Ghost Town (2008)

Following on from my recent review of The Invention Of Lying, this is another American comedy film that starred Ricky Gervais. I know that I keep going on about it, but I am still rather bemused to think one day you could only really see him on TV appearing as a panellist on Channel 4’s The 11 O’Clock Show, and the like (along with his radio work on XFM of course).

He also greeted everything with rather crazed laughter, falling somewhere on the hysterics scale between Dick And Dom and Danny Baker. And then he goes on to be one of the biggest names in British comedy (mostly thanks to The Office), next he’s gone and cracked the supposedly very difficult American market in about five minutes, and suddenly he’s got a rather big collection of showbiz mates.

Ghost Town isn’t anything to do with chart-topping singles from the 80s though. But it was a romantic comedy where Ricky stars as a rather downbeat English dentist working in America called Bertram Pincus (because you get so many English chaps called Bertram nowadays don’t you). After an operation, he discovers that he has the strange ability to see and hear dead people.

Now he isn’t the first to be able to experience this in a film of course, but the problem is that he finds them all rather irritating. In the bustling metropolis that is New York, he soon realises that in the city that never sleeps, even the ghosts don’t even seem to sleep either or something. But wherever they have all come from, he considers all of them to be in his way. Why can’t they leave him in peace?

But somehow, he eventually manages to befriend a ghost, who wants help to put a scheme together with his widow. Ghost Town seemed to receive fairly positive reviews, but I imagine that Ricky is someone who wouldn’t really care too much what anybody thinks about his work really. This is because he probably considers his fairly late-blossoming career compared to most to be something that all of his critics could only dream of having, so shut up, yeah?

When was the last time you embarrassed Tom Hanks on stage? His English accent does still jar though, he hasn’t picked up too many Americanisms. Also among the cast are Tea Leoni and Greg Kinnear, who presumably had no problem taking second place to Ricky’s antics. The DVD extras include a look behind the scenes, and how they made some of the spooky special effects.