Ghost: Could it really be as bad as I remember?

In a word? Yes.

The 1990 mega-hit Ghost starred Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze’s chest, Tony Goldwyn and Whoopi Goldberg. It was so awesome that it’s been reworked and is currently in previews before heading to London’s otherwise theatrically respectable West End as a musical. Of course it is.

I would like points for having the self-restraint not to suggest that “Patrick Swayze’s Nipples” would make a fantastic band name.

You’re welcome.

Ghost is ham-fisted, but it’s not incompetent. Director Jerry Zucker, part of the genius team that created the Airplane movies, knows what he’s doing. That said, I suspect that no one quite knew what to do with this movie. To be fair, it’s not the worst movie ever, it’s just a muddle of too many genres, each given a shallow treatment. It starts out with a spooky title sequence then transitions abruptly to that staple of the late 80s: New York City Real Estate Porn. Goldwyn and Swayze use sledghammers to knock out a huge wall to make the gigantic amazing loft that characters Sam and Molly just moved into super-gigantic. Barechested, natch. Then it’s a lovestory. Then it’s a mystery. Then it’s a wacky slapstick comedy. Then it’s a ghost story. Then it’s Sam running around barechested again. Can someone please give that man a shirt?

Whoopi Goldberg as medium Oda Mae Brown and Vincent Schiavelli as the ghost-mentor who saves Sam’s bacon turn in great performances. It also has Stephen Root in a small role as a cop. Root has been in pretty much everything you’ve ever seen but is probably most famous for playing Milton in Office Space. Root and I were born in the same hospital. I’m running out of things to say about this movie.

Patrick Swayze & his chest (Sam) and Demi Moore (Molly) apparently have no family or friends other than Carl Bruner (Goldwyn). Despite the fact that they work in a huge bank, Sam and Carl seem to only work together. Sam gets killed and the mystery to be solved is: which one of his one colleague is ripping him off? I can overlook the primitive CGI, Demi Moore rocking a serious Moe, and the uneven Acting. But I can’t overlook that the mystery at the core of the movie isn’t mysterious. At all. And that’s just annoying.

I’ve already identified my mistake. This isn’t a morning-coffee sort of movie unless you routinely put kahlua in your coffee. I wanted to start the day with Beetlejuice but netflix streaming wasn’t cooperating so I thought this would be an okay film to jump ahead to.

If memory serves, I saw this movie at The Avalon with EvilAgent not long after we started working together in 1990. The theatre was packed and we couldn’t stop giggling every time one of the bad guys died and the “dark spirits” came for them. Those weren’t supposed to be the funny parts, or so I’ve been told.

And now, just for you: Puppies Parody The Famous Ghost Pottery Scene:

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  • Believe it or not, I’ve never seen this movie. I got contrary about it after the 20th person told me I had to see it because it was the BEST MOVIE EVER.

    • rebecca

      Let me save you the trouble: it’s not.

  • rebecca

    Argh. Before anyone leaves any comments correcting the many grammatical and punctuation errors in this post, doublecheck it. I accidentally published an uncorrected draft, which I immediately corrected. The version that went out in the email version is the crapped up one, unfortunately.