Monday, 10 June 2013

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has endlessly been remade and retread over the years, some have succeed in being humorous (Muppets Christmas Carol) and others have achieved originality (Scrooged). But if Dickens was alive nowadays and was unlucky enough to have to sit through Ghosts of Girlfriends Past then he would no doubt burn every edition of A Christmas Carol so his name could not be traced back. Starring the always dull and boring Matthew McConaughey, who yes does get his shirt off, plays photographer Connor Mead. Mead is lets say, a disgusting sexist pig who thinks his the most important person to women around the world, he is the type of person in a club or pub that you would emigrate to avoid. We first encounter Mead breaking up with three girls at the same time, or as he calls it "in bulk", while about to have intercourse with another. This basically sets up the tone for the rest of the film, women are only featured as disposable sex objects for Mead to play with then kick out of bed to move on to the next woman. Mead is made to look like some sex god, with women fallen at his feet while his lovers, or should I say victims, are portrayed as promiscuous and easy. The question of why women sleep with him, especially once she has seen him treat three women like  trash, its not only baffling but annoyingly offensive.

Mead's redemption comes when he visits his brothers wedding in the form of his deceased uncle Wayne, played by a washed up Michael Douglas, who plays the Marley part warning Mead that he will be visited by three ghosts. Douglas' cameo in the film adds nothing but another layer of disgusting dialogue including such magical and beautiful lines as "women liked to be screwed but not screwed over". Lovely, just lovely. The first ghost of girlfriend past, played by Emma Stone, offers the closest thing this film comes to to comedy. The comedy in no way comes from the script but instead, from Stone's easy likeability. You get the gist from then on and no one would blame you if you turned it off at that point. Seen as it is a romantic comedy, despite swapping the romance for sexist bigotry and comedy for, yes you guessed it, more sexist bigotry, there has to be a love interest hidden somewhere and that comes in the form of Jennifer Garner, an actress who has never exhibited any talent, Elektra and Daredevil are perfect examples of that. Garner plays Jenny Perotti, Mead's childhood sweetheart. It is quite fitting that Connelly stars seen as she is as dreadfully dull as the lead. Watching the two leads is more painful then a root canal without anaesthetic, neither demonstrate any talent, only there to be gawked at.

The typical layout that the screenwriters have ripped out of Dickens' books allows scriptwriters, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, to be as dull and boring as their leads. And Mark Waters, the director responsible for the likes of Mr Popper's Penguins, adds to the layers of characterless, insipid and monotonous dullness.The film takes exactly the same route as most adaptations of Dickens' novel, it never strays from the overly beaten track and seeing McConaughey shout outside a window "You boy? What day is it? Is it Christmas day?", makes you wish for the warmth of Michael Caine's Scrooge. Although it is incredibly fitting that the film is set in winter as the film lacks any warmth what so ever and even after Mead has gone through his transformation you cannot help but just want to punch his smug, air brushed face. The typical story of redemption is common in Hollywood films, some wear it well but it looks like a cheap suit on this film. The only thing this film should be applauded for is that it has an ending but sadly it doesn't come quick enough. If you are looking for a film about redemption buy Groundhog Day on DVD, the first two minutes of Bill Murray's classic has more character and comedy then the 115 minutes that this atrocious film runs for. It is well known that you can make a bad film out of a good script but you can't make a good film out of a bad script, somebody should have burnt this script before it saw the light of day.

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