Sometimes it’s almost too easy to find a good movie that you can sit down and enjoy without criticizing every bit of it. This category, however, does not include “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” directed by Mark Waters.
The story line is very cliché as it follows A “Christmas Carol,” only in modern times and with better actors. Matthew McConaughey plays the tall and handsome Connor Mead who has a past of breaking girls’ hearts. Still a bachelor and living life to its fullest, he heads to his younger brother’s wedding where he runs into his ex-girlfriend Jenny Perotti, played by Jennifer Garner. As Mead’s crush starts to unfold with old memories of Perotti, other strange things start to happen.
Out of the blue a frizzy-haired, mouth-full-of-braces Allison Vandermeersh, played by Emma Stone, comes into play as the ghost of his first dumped girlfriend. She then proceeds to take him on a journey through his life, showing him how terrible of a person he truly is. Like all Christmas Carol stories, the first trip is taken way back in their past and so on and so forth until they reach the present time. One trip includes re-meeting his ex-girlfriends who tell him how long they dated; some stretching from 5 minutes to a few months, which shows how much of a jerk he is.
McConaughey and Garner are wonderful actors and work well together; however, this movie doesn’t flatter them in the slightest. McConaughey can pull off the narcissistic know-it-all well, but that kind of character makes me want to slug him, so it makes the movie even less enjoyable.
Garner’s character is depressing in this movie. She shows her feelings in a monotone way and is very bleak and boring.
The only acting I found myself impressed with was the always-wonderful Emma Stone who portrays a sense of adventure and never ceases to amaze me from the moment she enters the movie to the time she leaves. Her acting always seems to be a step above the other actors, and I never got bored of her goofy antics and quirky lines.
It’s not that the story line is bad, but it’s over used and when something has been repeated multiple times, then it gets boring and people lose interest quickly. Mix that together with only somewhat funny lines, mediocre acting, and a few metaphors, and you get a movie that I would only recommend watching if there’s nothing else to watch.