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Delightful Romantic Comedy
Claudio Carvalho27 May 2016
The executive Stevenson Lowe (James Spader) moves to New York to work in the publishing house that has belonged to his family for generations. He buys an old townhouse to live alone, disappointing his girlfriend Julia (Polly Walker) that believed they would move in together. Soon he discovers that the house is haunted by two amicable ghosts, the former theater stars from the 20's Max Gale (Michael Caine) and Lily Marlowe (Maggie Smith). Further, they are married and argue most of the time. Meanwhile, Senator Will Dodge (Sam Shepard) woos Julia and she breaks up with Stevenson. His professional and private life turns upside-down, since the publishing house decides to accept to publish commercial and shallow books; his former lover Michelle Tippet (Marcia Gay Harden) hits on him; Julia travels to Washington to meet the Senator; and the two ghosts quarrels all the time. But he learns how much he loves Julia. Will he succeed to have she back?

"Curtain Call" is a delightful romantic comedy, one of those films that is pleasant to see more than once. The wonderful cast with James Spader, Polly Walker, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Sam Shepard and Marcia Gay Harden has a perfect chemistry and seems to have fun while performing their characters. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Adoráveis Fantasmas" ("Lovely Ghosts")
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Sweet, Charming Film
ursaminor713 June 2002
A fun romantic comedy with Maggie Smith and Michael Caine as charming ghosts of a formerr era. The romance of the "alive" characters is fairly formula, but it is fun to watch Smith and Caine banter as they fade in and out of reality. Nothing serious, but a great movie for lovers of the theatre, or for bibliophiles.
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An entertaining and likable romantic comedy
MovieAddict201611 July 2005
This movie was on TV the other afternoon and I decided to give it a go. I'm not usually a fan of these type of movies but I sat down to watch this willing to ignore its flaws and just be entertained.

I was entertained. Sure, it's not laugh-out-loud funny. It's utterly predictable. It's gimmicky. That's the type of movie it is. You have to meet it on its own terms and if you do that, you're likely to have a fun time.

James Spader stars as a selfish bachelor who buys a new luxurious house to anger his long-time girlfriend because he is afraid of commitment. When he moves in he begins to be haunted by the ghosts of two former classical actors (Michael Caine and Maggie Smith), who instill morals and so on and so forth, giving him friendly advice.

Yeah, I know, it's a pretty lame plot, but it works - mainly thanks to Caine and Smith, whose chemistry together really sparks. I'd recommend this to anyone who's just looking for some decent entertainment, not a masterpiece of the genre or anything - just a film to help pass the time, which this does; it's not insulting and it doesn't try to be anything it isn't.
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Kinda blahhhh
hokeybutt15 November 2004
CURTAIN CALL (2 outta 5 stars)

Harmless, barely amusing tale of some blank-souled Yuppies who move into a house which turns out to be haunted by the spirits of a bickering husband and wife acting team (Michael Caine, Maggie Smith). James Spader plays the only person who can see them... as they continue to dispense advice... and turn his life upside down as he tries to avoid serious commitment to his long-time fiancée. Not really very funny, not really very romantic, not really very anything... just a way to kill some time. Not one of the more memorable comedies about ghosts annoying the living. Maybe with a better script the cast could have salvaged something out of it.
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Okay ghost story
blanche-220 January 2010
James Spader, Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, Julia Walker, Marcia Gay Harden, and Sam Shepard star in "Curtain Call," a 1999 film directed by Peter Yates.

Spader plays Stevenson Lowe, a bachelor with a steady girlfriend (Walker) who buys a gorgeous old townhouse. However, he soon learns that it's haunted by its former owners, a married couple (Smith and Caine) who were theatrical stars in a past era. And even in death, they don't get along. Julia, his girlfriend, unhappy that he can't commit to her, breaks up with him, and his family publishing business is going in a direction he's not happy about. Through it all, he learns some things about love and taking a stand from his ghostly guests - though they would say he is their guest.

This is a nice film, but formulaic, and the script isn't very strong. It's pleasant enough, and the performances are certainly good from this wonderful cast, which also includes Buck Henry and Francis Sternhagen. Although not groundbreaking, it's a pleasant way to pass the time if you're looking for light entertainment.
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a perfect gem by a crew of experts
John-15313 October 2001
What a perfect gem of a film. It would be a mean and clumsy spirit that did not respond kindly to this wonderful confection. Above all, the expertise of a crew led by the director of The Dresser which includes actors of the calibre of Michael Cain, Maggie Smith, Sam Shepard , not to mention Peter Spader, Polly Walker and Buck Henry leaves the viewer with a sense of secure pleasure that is very rare in today's cinema. The only scene which didn't quite work for me was the confrontation scene with Shepard in Washington but everything else flowed like a premier cru. Add cinematography, wardrobe and music that add to the sense of professionalism (no wonder the house and the New Year's Eve party seem so desirable!) and you have ninety minutes of gentle good humour. Michael Cain says towards the end "they don't write tunes like this any more" but here, once again, they did make a film like those by George Cukor with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant. What a Philistine society we live in now that acclaims those commercial potboilers with poor old Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts and overlooks a masterpiece like this.
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A charmer with a great cast - check it out.
Jack-19321 September 1999
It's funny that these sort of films used to be the mainstream back in the 30s and 40s. Now they're the "small" films. First of all, I can't believe they got this cast together.Even the smallest parts have great people in them. And the camera loves few women like it loves Polly Walker. This is a film for adults. Spader's character is a book editor and the film concerns how to keep love going as you get older. Geez, no wonder it's not mainstream.
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I agree with most of the others
jerry75811 September 2000
The house is great. The movie is sweet, but boring. The characters are 2-dimensional (or less), and it has all been done before, and better (Topper, for example). Spader, who I usually like a lot, seems to have not a clue of what he is doing. Physical comedy by him looks clumsy, character motivation or depth is nonexistent. I did not like his character as a person or as a comedic device. Michael Caine overacted (as usual) but that is OK for the role. A pleasant hour movie that ran 1:40. I'd rent it if you are in the mood for a "chick flick", and it does have its moments when Spader is not on center stage. But it could have been a whole lot better!
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Good-natured ghosts teach lessons of love to the living
blindbiz17 February 2001
I really liked this film....admittedly not one of the top 100 of the decade but fun, light and clean enough for the entire family to watch. Maggie Smith and Michael Caine are, as usual, outstanding in their roles as fueding ghosts who have a bittersweet relationship even as ghosts. James Spader is excellent doing physical comedy. He is just having a good time in this role and the audience has a good time watching him. Great date movie. Fun and relaxing...
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Boring & A Waste of Talent
beagle_mom20 September 2008
I caught this on TV the other night and am so sorry I wasted my time. This was a boring, completely predictable, stupid movie. I thought it was going to be good and was looking forward to watching it considering all the great talent, but the story was awful and jokes were so lame. The writing wasn't clever at all. I'm sure that Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, and James Spader have this turkey on the "Ones I'd Like to Forget" list. These are all terrific actors and usually make great movies. How did all these good actors get roped into this fiasco? I guess it must have looked good on paper. My advice is to avoid this movie at all costs, unless you are looking for something that will put you to sleep.
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