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Ghost Town

A fill-in-the-blanks, DOA comedy
By CHRIS WANGLER  |  September 16, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars

As a comedian, Ricky Gervais is like an endangered panda: he can perform only under specific circumstances. Removed from his natural habitat (claustrophobic TV sets) and put into the wrong hands (studio superstar David Koepp), he looks pathetic — and not the funny pathetic that’s his forte. In his first starring role, Gervais plays a snobby NYC dentist who sees dead people. One of them is a fast-talking philanderer (Greg Kinnear) intent on breaking up the engagement of his mummy-researching widow (Téa Leoni). The rest is fill-in-the-blanks. Slick and watchable, Ghost Town might have made a passable rom-com with Matthew McConaughey, but it’s DOA as a Gervais comedy, with jokes administered under a kind of dental anesthetic. Diehards who have taken the fame-is-hell message of Extras to heart will shake their heads: this role is nothing but a grab for more of the same. The uninitiated will wonder what all the fuss is about. 102 minutes | Boston Common + Fenway + Fresh Pond + Chestnut Hill + Suburbs
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