Cast: Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Brekin Meyer, Michael Douglas; Director: Mark Waters; Producers: Brad Epstein, Jonathan Shestack, Marcus Viscidi; Screenwriters: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore; Music: Rolfe Kent; Editor: Bruce Green; Genre: Romantic Comedy; Cinematography: Daryn Okada; Distributor: New Line Cinema; Location: USA; Running Time: 100 min.;
Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 2.5
CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above
Connor Mead (McConaughey) is a famous and successful fashion photographer with commitment-phobia who treats women as a temporary source of entertainment. He discards women as fast as he flashes his camera ,immediately after sleeping with them. He attends the weekend wedding ceremonies of his younger Paul (Meyer) to discourage him of being perpetually tied to one woman. He almost succeeds in ruining the wedding as he flirts with the bride’s mother. On the eve of the wedding, his late uncle and mentor Uncle Wayne (Douglas), another womanizer, visits him and sends three ghosts to warn him to change his ways before it is too late. The ghost of girlfriend past (Emma Stone) is the 16 year old girl with whom Conner first slept after his childhood crush Jenny (Garner) was charmed by another man. He is shown all the women he played along with as well as his short lived relationship with Jenny a few years after graduation. The ghost of girlfriend present is Connor’s assistant (Noureen Dewulf) who shows him what the wedding guests, including Jenny, really think of him. The ghost of girlfriend future (Olga Maliouk) shows Connor’s funeral and Jenny’s wedding to another man. Now Connor must find a way to redeem his reputation and win the love of his life before it’s too late.
The movie is cute and enjoyable if you have nothing to do on a lazy afternoon. The Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol formula provides a new flavor to the usual “boy meets ex-girlfriend; boy discovers she is the one, boy tries to win ex-girlfriend before she marries another”. There are enough crisp and clever dialogues to save the film from becoming and over-romantic movie. The acting is so-so, but then again the characters do not require much from McConaughey or Garner except to be charming and agreeable. Douglas portrays a hilarious ghost who comes back to warn his protégée of the wrong he has taught. Overall the technical aspect is satisfactory while the creative part is a little bit lacking.
The Ghost of Girlfriends Past is full of sexual innuendos. Premarital sex is glamorized and accepted as part of the lifestyle of the successful, and marriage is portrayed worthless and restricting. The women in the film are shallow, pathetic and have a low self-worth as they consent to Connor degrading them again after they have been cruelly dumped. Connor’s moral awakening in the end does not make up for all his negative attitude.