GHOST TOWN

A Change of Heart

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: September 19, 2008

Starring: Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, Tea Leoni, Aasif Mandvi, Alan Ruck, and Dana Ivey

Genre: Comedy

Audience: Teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 102 minutes

Address Comments To:

Sumner Redstone, Chairman/CEO, Viacom
Brad Grey, Chairman/CEO
Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000
Website: www.paramount.com

Content:

(PaPa, BB, C, OO, LL, V, S, N, A, M) Strong mixed pagan worldview with strong moral elements containing a redemptive quality, including an answered prayer to God by a secondary character, where the protagonist learns to look out for others and not just himself, mixed with an occult view of the afterlife and communicating with the dead; 11 obscenities, nine profanities and two vulgar references to genitalia; two men hit by a bus, all off screen; no sexual activity but two minor references in dialogue; minor male character is nude in a few scenes, but remains “covered up”; drinking of wine; no smoking; and, lying.

Summary:

GHOST TOWN is the story of Bertram, a self-centered grump who dies on the operating table, but is brought back to life – only now he can see ghosts. There are positive moral themes of not being self-centered in this very funny comedy, but there is also an occult view of the afterlife and some foul language.

Review:

GHOST TOWN is the story of Bertram, a self-centered grump who dies on the operating table, but is brought back to life – only now he can see ghosts of dead people. These ghosts appear as real people to him, but they are spirits and cannot affect the physical world. Each of the ghosts has some “unfinished business,” and they want Bertram to help them. For instance, a mother wants her daughter to find a letter saying she’s sorry, or a man wants his young son to find his long lost teddy bear. Both ghosts know where the item is, but they need a live person to do it for them. Bertram refuses, though the ghosts follow him around constantly, begging for help.

One ghost, Frank, was hit by a bus and his “unfinished business” is unclear. He was cheating on his wife, Gwen, who is now engaged to be re-married. Frank doesn’t want his wife to marry her fiancée. So, he tells Bertram he’ll keep the other ghosts away from him if Bertram will find a way to break up the impending marriage. Bertram agrees.

In the course of trying to stop the marriage, Bertram begins to open up to Gwen and have feelings for her himself. In the end, Bertram realizes his narcissism and chooses to help the ghosts accomplish what they need.

GHOST TOWN is a very funny comedy. Ricky Gervais as Bertram is both endearing and hilarious. Though his character is offensive, we learn to understand and like him and welcome his change of heart by getting his eyes off himself. The story is well written with a few very unexpected twists. The production values are high and the direction is solid.

However, the movie has an occult view of the afterlife. In fact, there is no mention of heaven or Hell and only one positive reference to God and answered prayer. The movie’s occult theology is to go towards light once your “unfinished business” is complete. The Bible is clear that to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ, so there is no “limbo” stage (2 Corinthians 5:6-8). This occult material about ghosts is a major part of the movie’s central storyline, however, even though the ghosts cannot do anything on their own in the real world.

GHOST TOWN also has some foul language, but the main lesson for the protagonist, Bertram, and moviegoers is looking out for the interests of others and not just your own selfish interests and desires (Philippians 2:4). Bertram makes a very big transformation when he chooses to help the ghosts. His eyes open up, and he begins to relate to people instead of being an isolated grump. In addition, a secondary character calls out to God for help when administering CPR and is successful in bringing the man back to life.

In Brief:

GHOST TOWN is the story of Bertram, a self-centered grump who dies on the operating table, but is brought back to life – only now he can see ghosts. One ghost, Frank, wants his wife Gwen not to remarry. Frank offers to keep the other troublesome ghosts away from Bertram if he will break up the impending marriage. Bertram agrees. In the course of this, Bertram opens himself up to Gwen and begins to have feelings for her. In the end, Bertram realizes his narcissism and chooses to help the ghosts accomplish what they need.

GHOST TOWN is a very funny comedy. Though initially self-centered, Bertram change of heart is positive and endearing. However, the movie has an occult view of the afterlife. In fact, there is no mention of Heaven or Hell and only one mention of God and prayer. The movie’s afterlife is to go towards light once your “unfinished business” is complete. The Bible is clear, however, in Second Corinthians 5:6-8, that to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ. Since ghosts play a major role, MOVIEGUIDE® advises Christians to use discernment and extreme caution.