Connor Mead is a world famous photographer/womanizer who does not believe in marriage. One problem, he has to attend his brother’s wedding this weekend! Uh oh! When he ruins everything, Connor is visited by three ghosts who try to show him the error of his ways. Can he save the day (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.
How?! Truly a classic rom com storyline. We have our wildly wealthy man about town, Connor Mead, who does NOT believe in love (gross! That’s for sissies!). He slays the ladies but we get the feeling that he really only sleeps around because he can’t face that he’s still hung up on the one that got away, his (also wildly successful) childhood friend Jenny. Connor heads off to his brother’s wedding and almost immediately begins to ruin everything. After one too many drinks he is taken on a journey of discovery to cure him of his wild ways by the ghost of his long dead womanizing uncle and three ghosts of girlfriends past (who hasn’t, right? College). First he is shown his past where we see a young Connor in love with Jenny but fated to screw it up. Then he is shown how his womanizing is hurting everyone that comes in contact with him in the present. Finally he is shown how if he doesn’t stop he’ll end up dying a sad and lonely man. While all this is happening he also manages to get the wedding cancelled… so not doing so hot on picking up what the spooky ghosts are putting down. After realizing that love is real he madly dashes to save the wedding and get the girl… which he does. The End.
Why?! The motivation in rom coms are just as straightforward as in horror films. Except instead of death, hate, and mayhem the motivation is love (awww). Someone is searching for love but can’t find it, only to figure out that it was right in front of them the entire time (awww). Pretty much the case here as while Connor isn’t actively searching for love he learns through the film that love is what he needs and Jenny has been there the whole time (awww).
What?! Connor is as much a scrooge about love as Scrooge was about Christmas spirit. Bah humbug on the whole thing. So when he has to suffer through his brother’s wedding he does the only thing he apparently likes to do more than have sex with any woman who passes his way: drink. And not just any drink, it’s Johnnie Walker Blue all day and all night. Expensive habit.
Who?! Double dose here as we have musician Christina Milian appearing unbilled as the subject of a Connor Mead photograph in the opening scenes. This completes a BMT trilogy for Milian with Be Cool (gross) and Torque (less gross). Don’t worry though, she has plenty more.
Where?! While the movie was filmed at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA, which I stayed at on my wedding night, it surprisingly wasn’t set in MA. In the opener, which takes place at Connor’s studio in NYC, he mentions that he has to travel to Newport for the wedding. This is an obvious reference to Newport, RI which is famous for its mansions. Pretty rare state. Rare enough that we used a film called Evening to hit it for mapl.de.map. What a disgrace. C-.
When?! A little debate at BMTHQ as to whether this is a holiday film. It’s certainly an adaptation on The Christmas Carol and at one point Connor even directly quotes the classic tale by asking a kid whether it’s Christmas yet (but he might just be joshing). It’s never directly acknowledged so can’t really count it, but diving deep into the uncredited roles listed on IMDb there are no less than three actors credited as “Unemployed Santa.” I think I’d remember a few jobless Santas in the film if they actually appeared, but that just might make this a super secret holiday film. D-.
Much like the recently BMT’d Made of Honor this film is almost pleasant in its genericness. Just plods along a plot that we’ve watched a million time. Unfortunately it totally botches the one thing that allowed Made of Honor to stand out from the crowd: an endearing main character and a realistic relationship to root for. In this case Connor Mead may just be the most unpleasant protagonist we’ve had to suffer through (not counting everyone Gerard Butler has played). He’s just an obnoxious, rich asshole who suffers no consequence for his years of being an obnoxious, rich asshole. All that being said, Emma Stone was fun. As for our foreign flick, Asterix at the Olympic Games, that shit was the Frenchest thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not totally sure why it was that French audiences rejected it so thoroughly (I thought it was silly but amusing). I presumed that it was the fact that our heroes Asterix and Obelix are somewhat minor characters in the film, but according to reviews I read that wasn’t the problem. Apparently this film was guilty of one too many French pop/athlete references and cameos… I didn’t notice because I didn’t get many of those references. The moral of the story? Bad movies are not a universal language. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Your boss is a hotshot producer and wants a fresh spin on an old classic. Well it’s coming onto Christmas, and you know what that means … you’ve forgotten to buy gifts and you need to smash out this spec in like ten minutes before hitting the mall! Oh, and obviously your idea is just a rehash of A Christmas Carol. But then you remember that Bill got fired for pulling the same trick last year … whatever, let’s have it star a horribly smarmy womanizer and release it in May. Bing bang boom, let’s get into it!
The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – The main players do a fine job with what they are provided, and the movie looks good as well. Oh, the bumping 80s tunes were a definite A+. But, there is very little else good about this, which we will obviously get into. But let’s make a Remake! About time we got this right. First, make it an adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life, Michael Douglas isn’t the warning miser, he’s the angel who wants his wings! He took in his nephews as his own, and for all he tried he couldn’t put Connor on the right track. And before he’s allowed his place in heaven, he needs to change the course of the young man’s life before it is too late! Going through the past he shows all the good he did, and where he went wrong, and the love he missed out on, and in the end the angel gets his wings. Yeah, also don’t fill the entire movie up with cliches.
The Bad (Sklognalogy) – Let’s just get the Sklognalogy out of the way: this movie is basically identical to Made of Honor. The beats are all the same: The womanizer who realizes the one that got away is the one, but before he can get the girl he has to convince her (and himself) that he’s changed! The main difference: Made of Honor was half-way filled up with cliches. This guy had the smarmy lead, the psychoanalyzing ex, the honorable brother, the bridezilla, the bridesmaid who wants to bone him, the groomsmen who wants to be him, the sultry future mother-in-law and scary military father-in-law … sigh, it is just incredible. Not to mention that this entire movie reads as rich-white-people-problems put to film (like Made of Honor …). Anywho, long story short: turns out making a movie that is one-hundred percent rom-com cliches makes for innocuous by ultimately unsatisfying results. Go figure.
The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – The one-two combination of this and Made of Honor is actually quite tantalizing for a footnote of 2017. It could come up there. I love McConaughey (Foooool’s Gold, it’s not that bad, it’s not that bad), so perhaps as the pinnacle romantic comedy lead … I could see it. CNN has it fifth worst for 2009, but it doesn’t get much play elsewhere for what is a truly impressive bad movie year. Two 2009 movies in a row! And plenty to go it would seem.
Along with Ghosts of Girlfriends Past we watched a Foreign Film this week for the Bring a Friend requirement: Asterix and the Olympic Games. This basically proved to me why we don’t do foreign films: I’m missing context. I thought it was actually rather funny (especially Brutus), I laughed more than I did during Ghosts of Girlfriends Past for example. But I feel like there was something missing. Were these actors good? Were they playing with or against type? If Will Smith was sitting there mugging it on screen I would possibly think a movie was great fun … but Disaster Movie has nobodies mugging constantly and is merely sad and tragic. It had two prequels (I didn’t watch them), and is based off of a beloved comic / cartoon … so there is possibly a level of offense as well with hurting the source material. I’m adrift. I thought it was fine (its bad-movieness saved by hilarious back-to-back-to-back French sports figure cameos to end the film), but people really seem to hate this thing, so I can merely defer to their opinion.
Some foreign films I think we could maybe gain context over time (Hong Kong cinema in particular, and possibly French comedy), but it would be difficult. I have a similar problem with films prior to 1980. That issue though I think is remedied easily: watch a ton of good movies from that era to get a feel for a typical 1970s film, for example. Same goes for martial arts and westerns actually. We just did it with slashers, a genre I had almost no knowledge of prior to this year! So there are opportunities. BMT brings opportunities, truly one of the greatest things ever to be invented ever.