[Screen It]

 

"GHOST TOWN"
(2008) (Ricky Gervais, Téa Leoni) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Heavy Minor *None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Moderate None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Moderate Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: Suddenly afflicted with the ability to interact with ghosts, a curmudgeonly dentist agrees to help break up a pending marriage in the hope that it will make a woman's dead husband and the rest of his kind stop bothering him.
PLOT:
Bertram Pincus (RICKY GERVAIS) is a dentist who doesn't like people, be they strangers, his patients, or even fellow dentist Dr. Prashar (AASIF MANDVI) who shares the office with him. A no-nonsense curmudgeon through and through, he hates small talk, especially from those involved with his current colonoscopy. When he's done with that, however, a number of people approach, follow and then chase after him, thankful that he can see and hear them.

He thinks he's experiencing post anesthesia hallucinations, but he eventually gets the hospital staff to admit that he was clinically dead for seven minutes during the procedure. And he now realizes those following him are real, except for the fact that they're ghosts with various sorts of unfinished business that's kept them from crossing over.

Chief among them is Frank Herlihy (GREG KINNEAR), a successful man who was hit by a bus and now wants Bertram to break up his widow's pending marriage. It doesn't matter that he was cheating on Gwen (TÉA LEONI) or that her fiancé, Richard (BILLY CAMPBELL), is a human rights lawyer and seemingly a decent man. Frank wants the relationship severed, and when Bertram refuses to help, the ghost makes him a deal -- cooperate and he'll get rid of the rest of the ghosts.

Bertram reluctantly agrees, but as he gets to know Gwen, he starts to develop feelings for her. From that point on, he must decide how to proceed, all with Frank's ghost hanging around, offering advice and generally irritating the dentist.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Fans of anyone in the cast or ghost-related comedies might be interested in it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some strong language, sexual humor and drug references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RICKY GERVAIS plays an antisocial dentist and resident curmudgeon who wants little to do with anyone, alive or dead. Yet, he must put up with the ghosts of Frank and others who want him to help resolve their various matters. He reluctantly agrees to break up Gwen's pending marriage, but only to get all of the ghosts out of his life. While doing so, however, he develops feelings toward her. He also drinks and uses profanity.
  • TÉA LEONI plays Frank's widow, a mummy specialist who's engaged to Richard and generally seems happy, except with Bertram based on his previous anti-social behavior toward her. Once she gets to know him, however, she warms up to him and becomes his friend. She drinks some and uses some profanity.
  • GREG KINNEAR plays the ghost of her dead husband, an adulterer who now blackmails Bertram into breaking up her marriage with Richard. A constant irritant to the dentist, he also uses profanity.
  • BILLY CAMPBELL plays Gwen's fiancé, a very serious human rights lawyer who drinks wine with her and Bertram.
  • AASIF MANDVI plays a fellow dentist who shares office space with Bertram and tries to be nice to him, but must contend with the misanthrope.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 2 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present (mostly about an unseen mummy's severed penis), while a male ghost's full nudity occurs off camera or is blocked by foreground objects.

    Comedy-based violence includes several people being hit and killed by buses, while various ghosts are around (although all played for comedy, with nothing scary about them). Various bad attitudes are present, characters drink in several scenes, there's brief smoking, and a character asks for a prescription for any number of powerful painkillers (but no use occurs).

    Tense family material is also present, mainly referring to dead family members. A mummy is seen (shriveled, black skin, mouth open, etc.) while some scatological humor is also present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Dr. Prashar and others have champagne at a small office party.
  • A hospital's admitting nurse asks Bertram how many alcoholic beverages he consumes every week, but he refuses to answer that due to privacy concerns.
  • Frank orders a sapphire martini for Bertram who wants a different kind of drink, but eventually settles on that one.
  • Bertram, Gwen and Richard have wine with dinner. Gwen then pours more for Bertram and herself.
  • Bertram has a martini and Gwen has a drink. She talks about drinks in the past with Frank and that she once ordered a "screaming orgasm." She then adds that Frank then told the bartender, "I'm the only who..." but Bertram interrupts the story by yelling at Frank's ghost who's there.
  • A miscellaneous person has wine.
  • Gwen and Richard have wine.
  • Bertram gives Richard nitrous oxide to get the truth out of him (we don't see the actual use or its effect).
  • About his depression, Bertram asks Dr. Prashar if he could prescribe him some Percocet, Darvin or Vicodin, suggestively adding that he isn't even going to ask about morphine (implying he'd take that as well). Instead, Dr. Prashar shows him an inspirational quote that gets Bertram's mind right.
  • People have drinks at a reception.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Bertram drinks chunky laxative liquid for an upcoming colonoscopy. We hear some intestinal rumblings and then he rushes off to the bathroom (the door closes, and nothing else is seen or heard). The next day at the hospital, the admitting nurse asks him all sorts of questions, including if he evacuated his bowels. He replies "I sh*t" (past tense of the "s" word), and then did so again and again, adding that it was like a terrorist attack down there. When he mentions it was an invasion of privacy, she tells him to wait until they get him in the back (meaning the colonoscopy).
  • When Bertram tells Frank the hospital wasn't going to use general anesthesia for the above, Frank is shocked and asks what about his "ass feelings."
  • We see various views of a mummy, with black skin, shriveled body, open mouth, etc. that might be unsettling to those sensitive to such sights. Gwen even has Bertram touch the mummy.
  • Gwen talks of how the mummy's brain and organs were removed. She then talks about his other "organ" and then clarifies that as his "d*ck" to Bertram, and shows him that in a jar (we don't see it).
  • About that mummy, Gwen mentions the triggering of the vomit impulse (but that doesn't happen).
  • Sitting next to Gwen's stinky dog, Bertram says he has a sensitive gag reflex. When they go outside and the dog does its business (not seen), Bertram points it out and Gwen bags it (we the bag quite full), all of which nearly makes him retch.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We learn from his phone conversation that Frank is having an affair, and he belittles the person on the other end for mistaking his girlfriend for his wife.
  • Bertram is an antisocial misanthrope who doesn't want to listen to his patients' stories and sneaks out of the office rather than attend a small party hosted by Dr. Prashar.
  • Despite Gwen asking him to hold the elevator, Bertram pretends to do so, but really hits the close door button instead.
  • Bertram won't answer various questions asked by a hospital's admitting nurse, saying they're impertinent.
  • A surgeon tries to get around admitting that Bertram died for seven minutes during his procedure, and a hospital lawyer points out that he signed a post-op release form (although we learn they did so while he was still groggy and thus didn't know what he was doing).
  • Bertram takes Gwen's cab just as she's about to get into it, leaving her in a sudden rainstorm.
  • Frank won't leave Bertram alone, always pestering him and occasionally calling him "pink-ass" instead of Pincus. He then essentially blackmails Bertram into breaking up Gwen's pending marriage or else he and the other ghosts won't stop pestering him.
  • Frank states that perhaps Bertram should hire a "broad" to seduce Richard away from Gwen.
  • Gwen initially doesn't like Bertram based on the way he's treated and ignored her in the past.
  • A thug's ghost wants Bertram to finish a hit job and tells him where to find the revolver.
  • After Richard states he worked (as a human rights lawyer) with homeless prostitutes, Bertram jokingly asks if he's still in the sex trade business.
  • Trying to be funny, Bertram tells Gwen that everyone around the world is the same, except for the Chinese and the naming of their people (laughing about odd-sounding names and those who have the same name, etc.).
  • Bertram approaches Dr. Prashar and asks if he comes from a dangerous country (he's from India). He then correctly assumes he isn't Christian and asks how someone like him would extract information from a hostile (played for comedy on the part of the film showing Bertram's ignorance of other cultures, etc.).
  • Thinking he's used previous information about Frank to get into her good graces, Gwen is mad at Bertram and wants nothing more to do with him.
  • About his depression, Bertram asks Dr. Prashar if he could prescribe him some Percocet, Darvin or Vicodin, suggestively adding that he isn't even going to ask about morphine (implying he'd take that as well). Instead, Dr. Prashar shows him an inspirational quote that gets Bertram's mind right.
  • For most of the film, Bertram refuses to help the ghosts deal with their various unresolved issues, but he eventually comes around and does just that.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We hear the sound of Bertram's dental drill (for those unsettled by such sounds).
  • Various ghosts are present throughout the film, but none of them are remotely played as scary (although if kids are sensitive about such matters, they still might find that unsettling or scary).
  • Although played for comedy, a scene in which Bertram has inadvertently left a mold too long in a woman's mouth and then has to pry it out might make some viewers uncomfortable (for fear of breaking off her teeth, etc.).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None seen, but a thug's ghost wants Bertram to finish a hit job and tells him where to find the revolver.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're a professional f*cking idiot," "Such a f*cking pr*ck," "I sh*t" (the past tense of the "s" word, with an "a" rather than an "i"), "I don't give a sh*t," "I don't have to listen to this sh*t," "You babbling idiots," "Shut up," "She's hot," "Pink-ass" (rather than Pincus), "Scumbag," "Just go to hell," "That's nuts," "Slime ball," "You're a sad little man," "Screw" (nonsexual), "Broad" (woman), "What you are is a little bit of a jerk," "What the hell is your problem?" "They suck," "Rattle the hell out of you," "Idiot boy," "Tent-pole stuck up his ass," "What a nasty piece of work," "Go to hell," "I'll make your life a living hell," "Don't piss me off," "A smock-wearing tooth jockey," "You're a heartless son of a bitch who doesn't give a rat's ass about anybody but himself" and "Bastards."
  • Since those who are alive sneeze after passing through a ghost, some kids may fake sneezes to pretend that's happening to them (perhaps to try to scare younger kids about the presence of ghosts).
  • A few miscellaneous characters have various tattoos.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A bus suddenly strikes Frank.
  • A bus suddenly strikes another person later in the film.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "f" words, 4 "s" words (1 in the past tense), 3 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck," "pr*ck" and "organ"), 4 asses, 4 hells, 1 damn, 1 S.O.B., 4 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "G-damn" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "For the love of God," "God," "Good God," "Jesus Christ" and "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • About his unseen girlfriend, Frank says, "She's hot."
  • We see the bare chest and then legs of a nude male ghost as he enters Bertram's bedroom (seeking closure help, nothing sexual), with many other clothed ghosts then there with him when Bertram wakes up.
  • Frank states that perhaps Bertram should hire a "broad" to seduce Richard away from Gwen.
  • Frank asks Bertram, "So, you use hookers?" with the latter replying he doesn't. When Frank says they should have Bertram arrive at Gwen's place pretending to be the cable or pizza delivery guy, Bertram asks him, "You watch a lot of porn, don't you?"
  • Gwen talks of how the mummy's brain and organs were removed. She then talks about his other "organ" and then clarifies that as his "d*ck" to Bertram. She talks of the phallus, and that the penis and heart were usually stored together, but that this mummy's was stored separately due to its size. Bertram then looks into a burial pot (we don't see the penis) and makes various comments, such as seeing why the mummy was the king, that he (Bertram) has to get used to looking down and seeing a shriveled one, that the king must have had huge hands, and that he sees the king died happy (an erection reference).
  • Small classic style statues show bare breasts and butts.
  • The male nude ghost is back again, with Gwen unknowingly bending down directly in front of him (the camera shot shows her body blocking a view of his crotch area).
  • After Richard states he worked (as a human rights lawyer) with homeless prostitutes, Bertram jokingly asks if he's still in the sex trade business.
  • Bertram has a martini and Gwen has a drink. She talks about drinks in the past with Frank and that she once ordered a "screaming orgasm." She then adds that Frank then told the bartender, "I'm the only who..." but Bertram interrupts the story by yelling at Frank's ghost who's there.
  • Gwen states that Frank had a shoe fetish.
  • Gwen shows a little cleavage
  • Referring to the above mummy penis material, Bertram talks about why people do and did impractical things for the dead. He asks why they would put the king's penis in a big jar, with Gwen matter-of-factly replying that he saw it and it wouldn't have fit in a small jar.
  • SMOKING
  • Some miscellaneous nurses smoke outside a hospital in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A nurse talks of getting a cat as a young girl in the past right before her father died.
  • Gwen states that he learned of Frank's affair on the day he died.
  • Bertram gives Richard nitrous oxide to get the truth out of him. We later hear Bertram tell Frank that Richard has called off the wedding to Gwen.
  • A ghost is concerned that her adult daughters don't speak to each other anymore, while another is concerned that his young son lost his beloved stuffed toy on the day his father (the ghost) died. Later, when Bertram helps the surviving family members, we see a teary adult daughter reading a letter from her dead mom, and a widow who gets teary when her son gets his stuffed toy back.
  • Gwen wants to know why she wasn't enough for Frank while he was living (referring to his affair).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Ghosts and the notion of unresolved earthly business that keeps them here.
  • Mummies and those who study them.
  • Affairs.
  • Misanthropes.
  • Gwen states that Frank had a shoe fetish.
  • The quote that only a life lived for others is worth living.
  • Dentists.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A window air conditioner unit accidentally falls from its perch and hurtles downward toward Frank. He looks up and sees it coming, but steps out of the way just in time. A bus, however, suddenly slams into him, killing him (we only see the initial contact in passing, but all of this is played for comedy).
  • Gwen's huge dog yanks her aside, off her feet (played for laughs).
  • Bertram causes Richard some pain while examining the latter's dental issue.
  • Bertram slips on an icy sidewalk and lands hard on his back.
  • A bus suddenly strikes a person (we only see the initial contact in passing) and they're then dead (we see the ghost), but a person performs CPR and revives them (all played for comedy).



  • Reviewed September 16, 2008 / Posted September 19, 2008

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Darkest Hour] [Just Getting Started] [The Shape of Water]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.