GHOST

We’re minutes away from Halloween, and what better way to spend Spooky Season than with a (mildly) spooky film?

This week on films I should have seen, I’ve finally watched one of the most romantic films of all time: 1990’s Ghost.

Directed by Jerry Zucker and starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, the classic film is about a young man who, after meeting an untimely death, spends his afterlife trying to protect his lover from danger.

The sole thing I knew about this film going into it was that infamous pottery wheel scene. That, and that there was probably a ghost in it.

It turns out is actually a pretty great film, with a great story and characters. The writing is great enough that it got an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Patrick Swayze is so utterly endearing and charming as Sam, a once foolish young man whose priorities are put into check after his death (mild spoiler there, sorry – but it does happen fifteen minutes into the film). What I really love about his character is that he’s this macho male figure who works in a bank and has difficulty saying “I love you”, but he shows weakness, and deep affection and care. It’s important to see in film, and makes his character utterly beautiful.

Demi Moore plays Sam’s love, Molly. An up and coming artist who is soon to be displayed in some prestigious galleries, she’s a down to earth, cool girl. Legend has it a big reason why Moore was cast was due to her ability to cry out of either eye on cue. I like to think it was based on more than just that, regardless of how impressive it is – she has such a charm and charisma to the role, and you do genuinely feel for her character.

WHY did I not know that Whoopi Goldberg was a supporting character in this, let alone that it’s this role that won her an Academy Award. She actually swept award season with her portrayal of Oda Mae, taking the BAFTA and the Golden Globe along with her Oscar and therefore becoming the first actress to win in the supporting category to do so. She is just fantastic in the role, eccentric enough to be the successful comedic relief of the film yet grounded enough for it not to be cheap.

The final main cast member is Tony Goldwyn, playing Sam and Molly’s close friend who loses it more and more as the film goes on. He is pitch perfect, with a perfect ‘dickhead’ face and charming qualities. Goldwyn was the unknown in the cast, and cements his talent with ease amongst these established names.

It’s a much longer run time than I was expecting, though I didn’t notice it at the time. I watched it last night, wanting to write up this post before I went to bed but when I opened my laptop to make a start I saw it was midnight (I know I am now posting it at midnight but cut me slack). It’s paced very well, with maybe a slightly slow start but a nice pay off.

The effects are way dated, but the experimentation is very endearing. It was ambitious for its time, and to have that immortalised in the film is really very charming.

It is very romantic, but I wouldn’t say in a hugely cheesy way. I think it has just the right level of realness to it that grounds it, and makes an audience empathetic towards it in a very effective way. Don’t write it off as a crappy ‘chick flick’ – it is genuinely more than that.

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