A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this romantic comedy stars Eva Longoria Parker, who's popular (and familiar to teens) not just for her starring role in Desperate Housewives but also for her tabloid-followed celebrity marriage to NBA player Tony Parker. There's not really any gratuitous content in the film: The language is standard for the PG-13 rating ("bitch," "s--t," etc.), there's no violence or overt product tie-ins, and the one (aborted) love scene (which shows a man and a lingerie-clad woman fooling around in bed) is more humorous than sexy.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Eva Longoria Parker plays Kate, a type-A bridezilla who's accidentally crushed to death by an ice sculpture on the day of her wedding to Henry (Paul Rudd), a loving veterinarian. One year after her death, Henry's sister (Lindsay Sloane) convinces him to see Ashley (Lake Bell), a part-time psychic, in order to communicate with Kate's ghost. Since Kate believes it's her ghostly mission to keep Henry away from the pretty, single medium, she reveals herself to Ashley and proceeds to sabotage their relationship. The sole voice of reason is Dan (Jason Biggs), Ashley's best friend, who warns her that any relationship involving an angry ghost is bad news. But Ashley and Kate continue to spar like vindictive high-school girls fighting over a guy.
Is it any good?
This passable romcom is yet another entry in the Ghost-inspired subgenre of love stories. First-time feature director Jeff Lowell also obviously stole some of the tone of John Tucker Must Die (which he wrote) for the scenes between Ashley and Kate. The result is a lack of emotional connection with either woman. Would a ghost really spend all of her time annoying the psychic that her former fiancé is dating rather than to reach out to her loved one directly? And would a psychic who for the first time actually sees someone from the beyond act like a 16-year-old because the ghost's beloved is "cute"?
It's not that the movie is awful, it's just blah -- the kind of fluff that only very young girls would find romantic. There are occasional laughs, mostly due to Rudd's charming wit and a couple of slapstick scenes involving Biggs. The actresses are actually the weak spots, lacking the comedic chops to make their characters work. Both come off as petty and overly polished (especially in the case of Longoria Parker, who looks like she'd never appear in a film if every hair weren't perfectly in place and every form-fitting outfit sprayed on her curves). An ice-queen ghost and a shallow psychic-caterer? Neither seems to deserve the sweet vet.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Hollywood portrays the afterlife. Can you think of other movies that focus on a ghost trying to communicate with someone or change something among the living? How do the representations of ghostly life differ? Kids: Do you think this movie has a happy ending? Why or why not?
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