What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that sexual content, violence, and strong language make this movie highly questionable for kids under 13 and for more sensitive teens. There's no nudity, but plenty of alluring shots. One bad guy is squished between two vehicles and the other is pierced through the torso by a jagged sheet of glass.
What's the story?
When Sam (Patrick Swayze) is killed by a mugger, he's left in some kind of limbo here on earth, able to witness events but unable to communicate with the living. He turns to Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), a wacky spiritual advisor, to help track down his killer and protect his distraught girlfriend, Molly (Demi Moore). Through Oda Mae, Sam is able to talk to Molly and they even have one last physical encounter through Oda Mae's body. Sam and Oda Mae manage to discover the killer, who turns out to be Sam's embezzling co-worker and former best friend, Carl. In a wild climax, Sam kills Carl, who's then carried away by nasty demons. With Molly watching, Sam ascends in a beautiful, white light.
Is it any good?
Ghost is melodramatic and spiritually simplistic, but the combination of comedy, thrills, and mushy romance will be irresistible to some. While it doesn't explain why bad things happen to good people, it tries to reassure us that good people can find divine justice. Filled with ersatz spirituality, the movie presents a syrupy vision of the afterlife; the good guys ascend to heaven in a beam of light and bad guys are carried to hell by demons.
In the first 40 minutes, the movie plays like a melodrama, chock-a-block with unrestrained passion, gruesome murder, and plenty of suspense. With the introduction of Whoopi Goldberg as a storefront spiritual advisor, the movie radically changes direction to become a comedy. The romance, which he described as "just too much," never really appealed to him. Of course, some teens may enjoy seeing how love can conquer all -- even murder.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the movie's formula. Why do the good guys tend to win in big Hollywood movies? If the movie had a more amibiguous ending, would it be as popular? Can you think of movies or other stories that didn't conclude happily? Did those movies leave you disastified but thinking about the ending? What about this movie?