May 062009
 
Authors: Marjorie Hamburger

Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) is a celebrity photographer who has never been the monogamous type. Moving from girl to girl nightly, Mead has no problem dumping three women at once via conference call.

All the girls know of his bad boy infamy, but they always fall for his charm, hoping he will change. But alas, it seems all but futile.

That is, until Connor attends his brother’s wedding. The night before the big day, Connor makes a fool of himself at the rehearsal, carrying on about how love is a fraud and monogamy is the downfall of humanity.

This night he is approached by three ghosts: the ghosts of girlfriends past, present and yet to come. The first ghost is a girl he dated for a very brief period in high school. She takes him on a tour spanning all his relationships.

His most sincere relationship was with Jenny (Jennifer Garner) whom he had known since childhood. He formed a bond with her long before he walked the route of the player. But when Jenny chose another guy in middle school, Connor decided to ditch the role of the nice guy.

The ghost shows him how much damage he created by dating countless girls then dumping them like last month’s sour milk. When Connor views the situation from a ladies’ perspectives, he begins to realize his selfish actions have consequences.

The ghost of girlfriends present shows him what is happening at that exact moment. Connor can hear what the wedding guests are saying about him and how people view his toxic personality. He sees how he hurt people at the wedding by his disgraceful actions and his foul love monologues.

Finally, the ghost of girlfriends yet to come gives Connor a glimpse into his bleak future. After the visits, Connor is determined to change his lifestyle so these horrible events will never occur.

A modern adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” “Ghost of Girlfriends Past” is naturally a bit over the top in many ways, but its intentions are steadfast and true.

Both male and female views on relationships are depicted, giving greater insight into the complexity of love, lust and friendship. Not only does it delve into themes of romantic relationships, but also some of its most powerful moments occur within the family, specifically concerning brotherly relations.

For what seems to be a lighthearted movie, “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” has a few exceptional deep scenes capable of stirring many niche audiences. The cinematography is also noticeably exquisite for a film of this genre. Many unexpected qualities surface in the film, adding to its layered plot and visual appeal.

Viewers can enjoy this film and relate to its strong characters. “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” surprisingly contains deep insight within its jocular shell.

Staff writer Marjorie Hamburger can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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