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Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance | 1 May 2009 (USA)
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Airs Mon. Feb. 25, 8:05 AM on HBO

ON DISC
While attending his brother's wedding, a serial womanizer is haunted by the ghosts of his past girlfriends.

Director:

Mark Waters
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1,902 ( 659)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew McConaughey ... Connor Mead
Jennifer Garner ... Jenny Perotti
Michael Douglas ... Uncle Wayne
Breckin Meyer ... Paul
Lacey Chabert ... Sandra
Robert Forster ... Sergeant Volkom
Anne Archer ... Vonda Volkom
Emma Stone ... Allison Vandermeersh
Daniel Sunjata ... Brad
Noureen DeWulf ... Melanie
Rachel Boston ... Deena the Bridesmaid
Camille Guaty ... Donna the Bridesmaid
Amanda Walsh ... Denice the Bridesmaid
Emily Baldoni ... Nadja (as Emily Foxler)
Catherine Haena Kim ... Charlece
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Storyline

Connor Mead, a successful fashion photographer and a Lothario keen on casual sex, goes to his younger brother's wedding to convince him not to marry. He arrives at his dead uncle's estate during the rehearsal the night before the wedding; he starts in, taking his brother aside, trashing marriage. Later in the men's room, his uncle, who taught Connor all he knows about women, appears to him, confesses to have been wrong, and tells Connor that three ghosts will visit him that night: the ghosts of girlfriends past, present, and future. Connor has already set the breakup in motion. Can he learn anything from his life and fix what he's broken? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't always run from your past


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content throughout, some language and a drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese | Chinese | Spanish

Release Date:

1 May 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hanté par ses ex See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$37,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,411,434, 3 May 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$55,250,026

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$102,223,269
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When going back to his late teens, Connor winds up in Kripke's basement. Kripke's basement is where, in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), John Connor said he first made out with Kate Brewster only a few days before the T-2 arrived, both Connor's name and the locale being homage to the Terminator series. See more »

Goofs

While Jennifer Garner is dancing with Daniel Sunjata she is wearing closed shoes but runs to the kitchen when she hears a commotion. She then appears in the kitchen wearing strap sandals. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Wayne: So here's a couple of tips. When you first meet a girl you give her two compliments above the neck. Yeah, tell her she's got nice lips, nice eyes, nice hair... she's intelligent, her moral ethics, whatever crap comes to your mind. Then just when she begins to thinks that you're another - you know - vanilla nice guy that she can tool around with all night without getting naked...
[hits his hand on bar]
Uncle Wayne: you *insult* her! Flip the power dynamic and your let her know that you're here to play.
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Connections

Version of An American Carol (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

I Try
Written by Macy Gray, Jin Soo Lim (as Jinsoo Lim), Jeremy Ruzumna, and David Lee Wilder
Performed by Macy Gray
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
I'm gonna have to do this in bulk … Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
29 April 2009 | by jaredmobarakSee all my reviews

My research into the new A Christmas Carol rip-off for the rom-com demographic, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, yielded one very interesting tidbit of information—director Mark Waters received a "special thanks" on the production of Requiem for a Dream. No disrespect to the man as I'm a big fan of Mean Girls and have wanted to check out his Spiderwick Chronicles, but how does he know Darren Aronofsky? This has all of a sudden taken over my complete interest pertaining to the new Matthew McConaughey vehicle, (and yes girls, he does eventually have his shirt off, it just takes a little longer than expected—we had a bet going on before viewing in which I said he wouldn't, but alas, a short five minute span ruined my victory). While sadly this is actually how my mind works, letting an innocuous fact about someone in relation to one of my favorite directors overshadow the issue at hand, I did seriously enjoy my time with Ghosts. Sure it was derivative; yes it was obvious; oh lord did it have a horribly orchestrated homage to Ebenezer Scrooge awakening to toss a coin to a young boy out the window in order to buy the Cratchits a turkey; but I literally had a smile on my face for the duration.

On the scale of one to ten as far as originality goes, this thing is below one. Usually that would fill my heads with preconceptions and premature hatred, so call me surprised that I unsuspectingly had a good time. It isn't that the story of unrequited love between McConaughey's Connor Mead, (I'm a bit perturbed that it never does get explained why Uncle Wayne calls him Dutch), and his childhood love Jenny, (Jennifer Garner), resonates at all—sadly it doesn't—but because of the cornucopia of supporting players that outshine the story itself. Mead is a Scrooge when it comes to the conquest of women. He doesn't believe in marriage or even love at all, stemming from a broken heart as a naïve middle-schooler watching Jenny dance with a ninth grader when he choked in asking her himself, and needs the cajoling of three ghosts armed with the reality of the loneliness his future holds to finally open his eyes to what's right in front of him. Years of building a façade over his true feelings start to chip away as the fantastic cast works their magic.

I hate to say that the main plot thread is the least enjoyable part of the film, but it's true. I never believed the connection between Garner's successful, romantic doctor and McConaughey's smarmy, reprehensible glam photographer, as the chemistry just wasn't there. Well, I lie; it was noticeable in one scene at the end when she is locked in a car and he outside. There reactions, done in close-up without the other present in the frame, make you feel their love … only it could be a love for whomever, as they aren't looking directly at the other. Now, I know that their relationship is the impetus for the entire production—he must overcome the indoctrinated ways of the lothario Michael Douglas' Uncle Wayne instilled in him to win her back—but I could have cared less whether they got together or not. It's the journey that kept me in my seat: the one-liners, (loved Douglas' "ten pin" quip), priceless facial expressions, and all around craziness excels. Even absurd moments like the inclusion of an Olympic archer, (used twice!), are so out there that you have to chuckle at least a little bit.

The effects were nicely orchestrated, but again wholly unoriginal. You can't help but reminisce about the brilliant Bill Murray film Scrooged at every turn. From Douglas' ascot wearing partier, (like Murray's once dapper boss), to Noureen DeWulf's ghost of girlfriends present punching and abusing Connor, (exactly like Carol Kane), to the ghosts watching and waving through the window at the end, (although here they do add some laughs with Douglas attempting to pick up the three ghosts … no matter their age), it's a carbon copy. But, like in Scrooged, the ghosts add so much levity to the proceedings. Emma Stone is fantastic as the geeky, braces-wearing, frizz-head who acts as the ghost of girlfriends past. An attractive actress, as seen in the likes of Superbad, she really sinks into the obnoxiousness and juvenility of being a sixteen-year-old outcast. And DeWulf, in a role that seemed a throwaway at the start, adds some sophistication to the world of Connor Mead as the one woman in his life he has not tried to bed—his assistant.

Rounding out the rest of the cast is Breckin Meyer, (more subdued than usual, I would have liked to see more from him), as Mead's brother getting married; Lacey Chabert as the bride, having fun with many over-the-top sequences and reactions; and her parents played by Anne Archer and Robert Forster. Archer steals a couple scenes as the sexy older woman, partaking in a very funny moment with McConaughey at the bar, and Forster is a riot as a Korean War vet utilizing his wartime commands in the wedding rehearsals. Even the three slutty bridesmaids create some laughs on the outskirts of the otherwise boring main plot. It's not that Garner or McConaughey are bad, they just play their roles as though themselves. With all the hustle and bustle going on, the story slowed to a crawl when focusing back on them. I literally sat through their tale in order to see the subplots continue on and the jokes surround them. So, brave the mediocrity of the overall in that you may enjoy the hilarity working on the fringes. It'll be worth the visit even if you won't be completely satisfied. But then I'm sure you didn't really expect to be.


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