Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
|Ghosts of Girlfriends Past|
|Directed by||Mark Waters|
|Edited by||Bruce Green|
|Music by||Rolfe Kent|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$102.4 million|
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is a 2009 American romantic comedy film directed by Mark Waters. The script was written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, based on Charles Dickens' 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. Filming spanned February 19, 2008 to July 2008 in Rhode Island with stars Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Lacey Chabert, Emma Stone, and Michael Douglas. The film was released on May 1, 2009.
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past features a wedding day and the day before, rather than the familiar Christmas and Christmas Eve from A Christmas Carol. The three ghosts share similar appearances with the original descriptions, and the film shares the traditional plot points from the book.
Connor Mead is a famous photographer and womanizer. He attends the wedding of his brother Paul to Sandra, where he becomes reacquainted with Jenny Perotti, the only girl who captured his heart. After delivering a drunken speech at the rehearsal dinner, Connor sees the ghost of his playboy uncle Wayne. Wayne tells him not to be like him in life and says that he will be visited by three ghosts who will lead him through his romantic past, present, and future.
The first is the "Ghost of Girlfriends Past" in the form of Allison, his first lover. They revisit scenes from his past, focusing on his relationship with Jenny. Connor and she were very close at school; she gave him his first instant camera which he used to take her picture, promising to keep it forever. By middle school, they were on the verge of romance, but Connor's hesitation at a dance caused Jenny to dance with and kiss another boy.
Wayne told Connor that he must avoid romance at all costs in order not to feel such pain again. When he next saw Jenny, he ignored her and chose Allison. Several years later, Connor and Jenny meet again and rekindle their romance. She tries to stop his womanizing. He falls in love but panics, running away to avoid being hurt. Jenny wakes up broken-hearted.
Back in the present, Connor accidentally destroys the wedding cake and fails to reconcile with Jenny. He is confronted by the "Ghost of Girlfriends Present" in the form of his assistant Melanie. He sees that the others make fun of his shallow lifestyle. Paul expresses hope that he will someday improve. Connor is upset that Jenny is being comforted by Brad. Melanie and his former lovers discuss his lack of empathy.
Connor accidentally tells Sandra that Paul slept with one of her bridesmaids early in their relationship, and she is furious with Paul. Connor attempts to mend the situation, but Paul tells him to leave. Confronted by the "Ghost of Girlfriends Future", who takes him forward in time to see that Jenny marries Brad while Paul remains alone. Further in the future, Paul is the only mourner at Connor's funeral. Wayne appears and tells Connor that this is his future if he continues on the same path, pushing him into the grave to be buried by his many ex-girlfriends.
Waking up the next day, Connor finds out that Sandra has cancelled the wedding. Connor took the car in order to find her, convincing her to forgive Paul, saying that the pain of heartbreak is outweighed by the regret of never risking one's heart in the first place. Connor photographs the wedding, and he reconciles with Jenny by showing her the picture he still carries of her. They kiss and dance in the snow to the same song Connor once hesitated to ask her to dance to.
Wayne strikes out with the Ghost of Girlfriends Future. Wayne tries to hit on Melanie but she dances with Brad. Wayne is finally rejected by Allison, the Ghost of Girlfriends Past, who still appears 16.
- Matthew McConaughey as Connor 'Dutch' Mead, a ladies man, is based on Ebenezer Scrooge.
- Devin Brochu as Little Connor
- Logan Miller as Young Connor
- Jennifer Garner as Jenny Perotti is based on Ebenezer Scrooge's ex-fiancée Belle.
- Kasey Russell as Little Jenny
- Christa B. Allen as Young Jenny
- Michael Douglas as Wayne S. Mead, Connor and Paul's uncle and legal guardian, is based on Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner Jacob Marley depicted as a not-so-thinly-veiled caricature of famed Hollywood Producer Robert Evans.
- Breckin Meyer as Paul Mead, Connor's younger brother, is based on Ebenezer Scrooge's nephew Fred.
- Lacey Chabert as Sandra Volkom, Paul Mead's fiancée
- Robert Forster as Sergeant Major Mervis Volkom
- Daniel Sunjata as Brad Frye
- Emma Stone as Allison Vandermeersh, the Ghost of Girlfriends Past
- Noureen DeWulf as Melanie, the Ghost of Girlfriends Present, is based on Bob Cratchit.
- Olga Maliouk as the Ghost of Girlfriends Future
- Anne Archer as Vonda Volkom
- Amanda Walsh as Denice
- Camille Guaty as Donna
- Rachel Boston as Deena
- Christina Milian as Kalia
- Emily Foxler as Nadja
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past was originally set up in 2004 at Touchstone Pictures with Ben Affleck attached to play the lead character and Kevin Smith to direct, but both opted out and Disney cancelled the project. Betty Thomas was also attached to direct at one point, and Affleck's LivePlanet was also on board to produce.
It was primarily filmed at Crane Castle in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The church scene with Garner marrying another man was filmed at the Martha-Mary Chapel in Sudbury, MA. It was built by Henry Ford in honor of his mother and mother in law. It is on the same property as the historic Wayside Inn, dating from 1716. It is the oldest operating inn in the country. The film also reunited Michael Douglas and Anne Archer for the first time since the 1987 hit thriller Fatal Attraction, but they shared no scenes together. Christa B. Allen played the younger version of Garner's character, as she did in 13 Going on 30 in 2004.
- "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" - All Too Much featuring Matthew Sweet
- "Hush" - Gavin Rossdale and All Too Much
- "Got a Lot of Love for You Baby" - The Ralph Sall Experience
- "Keep on Loving You" - REO Speedwagon
- "You Can't Hurry Love" - The Ralph Sall Experience
- "Ladies Night" - Kool & the Gang
- "The Safety Dance" - Men Without Hats
- "Yeah (Dream of Me)" - All Too Much
- "Holding Back the Years" - Simply Red
- "Sleep" - All Too Much
The film received negative reviews and holds a 28% rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 144 reviews, with an average rating of 4.3/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "A retread of A Christmas Carol, featuring Matthew McConaughey in a retread of his Dazed and Confused role, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past lacks originality, humor, and any semblance of charm." Metacritic lists it with a 34 out of 100, which indicates "generally unfavorable reviews", based on 29 reviews. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
On the film's opening weekend, it debuted at #2 with a gross of $15.4 million (3,175 theaters, $4,854 average), far behind X-Men Origins: Wolverine's $85.1 million gross. The film made $55.3 million in the United States and Canada along with $47.1 million from foreign territories for a worldwide total of $102.4 million.
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- Lussier, Germain (December 24, 2012). "How Kevin Smith Almost Directed Ben Affleck in a Disney Movie and Why 'Fletch Won' Never Happened".
- Spector, Josh (August 6, 2003). "Dis' 'Ghosts' materializes for Thomas". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 19, 2003. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
- "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
- "Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past: Reviews". Metacritic. 2009. Retrieved May 24, 2009.
- "Home". CinemaScore. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
- "Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. May 4, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
- O'Connell, Sean (May 1, 2009). "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past". filmcritic.com. Archived from the original on December 30, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011.