'Ghosts of Girlfriends Past' DVD review

Technically it counts as paranormal pop culture, so we have to say something about Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, the Matthew McConaughey flick new to DVD where he stars as a lovably shallow man with a charming smile and Texan drawl.

Basically, McConaughey plays himself playing every McConaughey character from the last several years - witha twist! McConaughey is a Scrooged-up boyfriend who is haunted by exes who show him the error of his playboy ways and encourage him to get his life on track, and back to his true love (Jennifer Garner). I can't help but root for Matthew McConaughey as an actor. Any dude who happily plays the bongos naked while stoned out of his gourd is alright by me. Plus, he's shown some solid acting chops in the past.

He has done respectable work as the passionate advocate in A Time To Kill and the uber-dorky, but under-appreciated, Contact.  I also enjoyed him in Sahara, a pointless but fun action flick.  And if he wants to play shallow, he did it expertly in Dazed And Confused.

But Ghosts is just another romantic comedy with him as a man-whore and cad who must be rehabilitated. It's an old hat for Matt by now, and it's really been worn too thin in this desperately-trying-to-be-original-but-failing-miserably  rom-com. As far as Garner goes, she's more tolerable but as interchangeable as other recent McConaughey costars of late (Kate Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker). All around Ghosts is a phantom of a comedy - the idea of humor haunts the movie but never fully manifests.

My recommendation for Matt is to give the rom-coms a long airing out and to act with some new costars. Maybe round up Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson about kicking ass and taking names in Texas. Or perhaps they could be a trio of bongo-playing pot-heads. Anything would be far more alive than Ghosts.