Ghost Town

Rated 4.0

An amusingly convoluted romantic triangle is the central story element, but whatever the risks and merits of its plotting, the greatest appeals of Ghost Town reside in the ensemble work of its central players: Ricky Gervais, Téa Leoni and Greg Kinnear. Three lively and unexpectedly quirky characterizations emerge in the course of the story’s twists and turns. For the record, Gervais is Bertram Pincus, a misanthropic and resolutely solitary dentist. Through a complicated series of accidents, Pincus finds himself obliged to help the ghost of Frank Herlihy (Kinnear), who wants to prevent his widow Gwen (Leoni) from marrying another man. Complications, romantic and otherwise, ensue—some predictably, some not. Gervais and Kinnear both play skillfully against type—the one uncovering some ditzy charm beneath the brash disdain, the other revealing deviousness and self-doubt beneath a suave exterior. Leoni gives a charmingly persuasive account of Gwen’s mixture of intelligence and fallibility—the film’s wisest, and most flexibly perceptive, character when all is said and done. Rated PG-13