Bertram Pincus is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts.
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Bertram Pincus is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts. Even worse, they all want something from him, particularly Frank Herlihy who pesters him into breaking up the impending marriage of his widow Gwen. That puts Pincus squarely in the middle of a triangle with spirited result. Written by
Studio Approved Synopsis
The story: A dentist, played by Ricky Gervais, is sick of dealing with people. Not just a few people; everyone. Social niceties annoy him and "just being friendly" is out of the question. But this doesn't prevent annoying chatter from following him to his dental practice or even to the hospital where he must undergo his first colonoscopy. While the doctors roll him down a corridor on a gurney, chatting about frivolous nonsense, he interrupts and insists on full anesthesia for the examination.
The Problem: Once back on the street, he realizes he can see people that others cannot. He returns to the hospital and asks the doctor if anything unusual happened during the procedure. The doctor's reticence does not deter him from wrenching the truth from her that, technically speaking, he was dead for "almost 7 minutes". As a result, he can now see ghosts. And of course, they all want something from him.
The "something" that one particular ghost, Frank (Greg Kinnear), wants is for him to intervene in the romance of Frank's widow. At first reluctant to take on the task, he finally is blackmailed into to trying to break up her relationship and soon, he begins to enjoy the challenge.
The film rises above the hackneyed "invisible man" jokes and plays out as a fresh comedy romance. Not fresh on plot, admittedly, but on Gervais' style. True, it's the same character he always plays, but seeing it long-form and with the love interest,it's satisfying. The romance in the plot calls for a performance that offers more than a tortured look or a snarky comment - and Gervais delivers.
There are no weepy "But I love you" scenes. There are touching moments, however, that are more akin to "classic" Hollywood, rather than the big-budget, ruin-the-characters, 4th-installment, CGI festivals that are the hallmark of Tinseltown these days. Worth seeing. Our packed-house audience laughed out loud and applauded the ending.
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