I’m a sucker for redemption stories, so obviously Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a favorite of mine and in my mind, a tale not to be tinkered with. Imagine my despair when I heard that it was to be retooled as a Matthew McConaughey vehicle in which the star was to play, yet again, a charming rogue who is given a glimpse of his life as it was and how it will be, thanks to his lecherous ways.
I was even more surprised when Mark Waters’ Ghosts of Girlfriends Past turned out not half bad. As the piece’s Scrooge, McConaughey’s Connor Mead is a charming womanizer and it goes without saying that the actor pulls this off with ease. He’s effective in pulling off the character’s transformation when he decides to be a stand-up guy with the love of his life, Jenny (Jennifer Garner). Adding to the fun is Michael Douglas as Connor’s deceased Uncle Wayne, a Hugh Hefner wannabe who comes back from the dead to warn his nephew not to follow in his footsteps.
Though the film is wholly predictable, the cast, which also includes screen vets Robert Forster and Anne Archer, brings an enthusiasm to the movie that helps get it over the hump. While Ghosts won’t make you forget about Scrooge and Tiny Tim, it is a pleasant and rather sweet diversion amidst what is surely to be a summer of bombast at the movies.