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Mark Waters
Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Emma Stone
Writing Credits:
Jon Lucas, Scott Moore

While attending his brother's wedding, a serial womanizer is haunted by the ghosts of his past girlfriends.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 9/22/09

• “Recreating the Past, Imagining the Future” Featurette
• “It’s All About Connor” Featurette
• “The Legends, The Lessons and the Ladies” Featurette
• Additional Scenes


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Ghosts of Girlfriends Past [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 13, 2023)

Until he branched out with 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club, it seemed hard to find a less ambitious actor in Hollywood than Matthew McConaughey. For the first decade of the 2000s at least, McConaughey seemed to play nothing more than cocky studs in romantic comedies.

Even when he broadened slightly into more action-oriented movies such as Fools Gold or Two for the Money, he continued to take on parts in which he a) came across as arrogant and self-absorbed, and b) took off his shirt a lot.

2009’s Ghosts of Girlfriends Past seemed like such a cliché “2000s McConaughey Vehicle” that it bordered on self-parody. That doesn’t make it a dud, though it ensures the movie lacks a lot of spark.

Connor Mead (McConaughey) defines “love ‘em and leave ‘em”. He’s such a cad that not only does he dump three women at once, but he does so via a teleconference.

When Connor attends his brother Paul’s (Breckin Meyer) wedding, he doesn’t do so for family reasons. Nope: he just wants to score with the one bridesmaid he’s not yet nailed.

Before this happens, though, Connor’s life takes an unusual twist. He learned his roguish ways from his Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas), and his uncle’s ghost comes to him to convince him to change his ways. Wayne warns Connor that three ghosts will visit him and show him his sins.

Accompanied by various spirits, Connor journeys through time to see his interpersonal relationships over the years and where he went astray, especially as his connection to bridesmaid Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner) works.

Earlier I accused Ghosts of being a by-the-numbers romantic comedy, but I suppose that’s not entirely true. It’s a by-the-numbers romantic comedy that rips off A Christmas Carol.

I guess that makes it a little unusual, as it’s rare to find something that reworks Christmas Carol but otherwise has no real holiday connection. Ghosts takes place in the winter, but it fails to bring a real link to Christmas.

And it otherwise lacks any real originality. The Christmas Carol attachment gives the film a couple of minor self-referential laughs, but it can’t really spice up what is essentially a standard romcom, especially since the film takes so many odd liberties and boasts so many inconsistencies.

In that vein, I planned to pounce on Ghosts for its casting of McConaughey and Meyer as brothers separated by only five years. I still thought of Meyer as playing high school kids circa 2009, and I believed he was substantially younger than McConaughey. As it happens, he’s exactly five years younger, so score one for accuracy.

Unfortunately, other chronological liberties make less sense. Paul’s fiancée Sandra looks to be mid-20s, which is logical since Lacey Chaubert was 26 when they shot the film.

However, it gives her a father who fought in the Korean War! Last time I looked, that conflict ended in 1953, so that’d make her dad mid-70s.

Sure, guys still have kids at 50, but it still seems like an odd choice to make, especially since Forster was just 11 when the war concluded. The writers do this solely so they can throw in some combat jokes, but they’re not worth it.

That’s a minor liberty, but the more perplexing one comes from Jenny’s age – and her presence as maid of honor period. Jenny is clearly a good 10 years older than Sandra and her bridesmaids, but the film makes no attempt to explain this situation. In fact, unless I missed it, the movie never tells us why Sandra is friends with Jenny in the first place.

As we learn, Jenny and Connor grew up together, but they split up about 10 years prior to the film’s events. So how does Sandra even meet Jenny, much less become close friends with her? It makes absolutely no sense.

Except in the contrived world of the romantic comedy, where Jenny and Sandra must be friends so Jenny can reconnect with lost love Connor. It’s a feeble device that seems pretty useless. Surely the writers could’ve found a more logical way to connect all the parties.

But there’s not a lot of logic here, as even for a comedic fantasy, Ghosts doesn’t bother to ground itself. At least the cast adds some spark to the proceedings.

McConaughey seems a little more invested than usual – heck, he doesn’t even get shirtless until the flick’s midway point! – and Garner brings some depth to her underwritten role. Douglas slums as Uncle Wayne, but he plays the part as a combination of Jack Nicholson and Robert Evans, so he brings a playful touch to the flick.

All of that combines to make Ghosts a perfectly watchable romantic comedy, and it goes by painlessly. To be honest, that’s more than I expected from it, and it’s more than we usually got from the average 2000s McConaughey vehicle. Don’t expect anything inventive or memorable, though.

The Disc Grades: Picture C+/ Audio C/ Bonus C-

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into a watchable but erratic image.

Sharpness was largely fine. Some softness crept into wider shots, but the movie usually came across with appealing delineation.

No instances of jagged edges and shimmering occurred, but some light edge haloes popped up through the film. Grain felt surprisingly heavy but the film lacked print flaws.

Colors tended to be dense. The movie went with a heavy golden tint, one that made it seem like the characters spent too much time in tanning beds. The colors weren’t bad, but they failed to display much vivacity.

Blacks were somewhat crushed, and shadows tended to be a little thick. This felt like a decent image but not one that excelled.

As for the film’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack, it provided a decidedly low-key affair. Music exhibited nice stereo presence, but the rest of the mix offered little action.

This was a film that featured general ambience and little more, which was a bit of a disappointment. With the supernatural aspects of the tale, I’d think we’d find something more dynamic. However, the track remained restrained and didn’t do much more than offer light environmental support.

Audio quality was fine, as speech came across as accurate and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music sounded good, as the score and songs boasted nice warmth and range.

I suppose the effects were fine, though they were so subdued that they rarely demonstrated any power. A couple of minor “time travel” elements had some oomph, but they were rare. This was an average track at best.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio offered a bit more punch than its lossy counterpart, but given the soundtrack’s subdued nature, it didn’t seem especially different.

As for visuals, the Blu-ray looked more accurate and dynamic compared to the subpar DVD. While the BD became a moderate disappointment, it still topped the decidedly weak DVD.

No extras appeared on the DVD, but the Blu-ray adds some, and we open with three featurettes. Recreating the Past, Imagining the Future goes for eight minutes, 39 seconds and delivers notes from director Mark Waters, producer Jon Shestack, screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, costume designer Denise Wingate, production designer Cary White, and actors Michael Douglas, Matthew McConaughey, Emma Stone, and Noureen DeWulf.

“Past” looks at story/characters, the “rules” of the use of ghosts, costumes and period details, sets and locations, and cast/performances. It mixes fluff and facts to become a mediocre reel.

It’s All About Connor spans four minutes, five seconds and offers comments from Stone, Douglas, Waters, and actors Jennifer Garner, Breckin Meyer, Lacey Chabert, Robert Forster and Anne Archer.

With “About”, we examine McConaughey’s work and presence on the set. Expect little more than praise for the actor.

Finally, The Legends, The Lessons and the Ladies runs eight minutes and involves Waters, Shestack, McConaughey, Douglas, Garner, Archer, Wingate, DeWulf, Meyer, and producer Brad Epstein.

“Legends” tells us about the film’s characters and cast. It brings a smattering of insights but mostly relies on happy talk.

Four Additional Scenes occupy a total of nine minutes, 32 seconds. These include an “Original Opening” that sticks with a lot of what we find in the final movie, but it more clearly establishes the film’s post-Christmas setting. This ties it into Christmas Carol more clearly but essentially feels unnecessary.

As for the rest, they offer expansions on Connor’s brief tryst with Kalia (Christina Milian) as well as scheming by the bridesmaids and a longer take on young Connor’s first “lesson” from his uncle. None of them seem memorable.

In the category of rom-coms, you can do worse than Ghosts of Girlfriends Past - and you could also do better. The film features a good cast and a few amusing moments, but usually it feels too predictable and uninspired to become a winning product. The Blu-ray features adequate picture and audio along with a smattering of bonus materials. If you’re desperate for a date night rental, this’ll do, but otherwise I’d advise you to skip it.

To rate this film visit the DVD review of GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST

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