A Change of Heart
Release Date: September 19, 2008
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear,
Tea Leoni, Aasif Mandvi, Alan
Ruck, and Dana Ivey
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 102 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures/Viacom
Director: David Koepp
Executive Producer: Gary Barber, Roger Bimbaum and
Producer: Gavin Polone
Writer: David Koepp and John Kamps
Address Comments To:Sumner Redstone, Chairman/CEO, Viacom
Brad Grey, Chairman/CEO
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000
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.
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.