Ghost

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze), a banker, and Molly Jensen (Demi Moore), a potter, are a couple who renovate and move into an apartment in New York City with the help of Sam’s friend and co-worker Carl Bruner (Tony Goldwyn). One afternoon, Sam discovers unusually high balances in obscure bank accounts, but despite Carl’s offer to help investigate, Sam decides to investigate on his own. That night while walking home together Sam and Molly are mugged by a street thug who pulls a gun and demand’s Sam’s wallet. Sam struggles with the attacker and is shot. After pursuing the street thug, Sam runs back to Molly and – seeing her crying over his dead body – discovers that he has died from the gunshot and has become a ghost. Sam stays by the distraught Molly, trying to come to grips with his new condition, when Carl comes over and suggests Molly take a walk with him. Sam cannot bring himself to follow.

Moments later, the mugger enters the empty apartment and commences searching for something. When Molly returns, Sam scares their cat into attacking the thug, who flees. Sam follows the mugger to his apartment in Brooklyn and learns that the man’s name is Willie Lopez and that Willie intends to return later to continue the search.

While walking back to the apartment, Sam happens upon the parlor of Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), a con artist posing as a medium. But when she can hear Sam, she realizes she has an actual gift. He convinces her of the danger that Molly is in and that Oda must warn her. Molly is skeptical about Oda until Oda relays information that only Sam could know.

After Molly tells Carl about Oda Mae, Carl – unaware that Sam is following – then goes to Willie’s apartment. There, to Sam’s surprise, he finds that Carl and Willie are working together, that Carl had a hand in Sam’s death, and that he had needed to obtain Sam’s book of passwords in order to access and launder the excess money from the bank accounts. Under instructions relayed from Sam to Oda Mae, Molly goes to the police with Willie’s name and address, but they find no criminal record of him – instead they show her Oda Mae’s record and convince her that she’s a con artist.

Meeting a violent poltergeist in their ghostly realm, Sam learns from him how to manipulate physical objects from within the spirit realm. Sam then approaches Oda Mae and asks her not only to withdraw the money in the fake name that Carl had set up but then to give that $4 million to charity. Sam tries to scare Carl away from Molly but she reveals to Carl that Oda Mae was at the bank withdrawing the money. Sam then prevents Oda Mae from being attacked by Willie, terrorizing the thug and then sending him into oncoming traffic where Willie is hit by a car and killed. As Willie’s ghost is grabbed by creatures from the shadows that drag him to Hell, Sam and Oda Mae return to the apartment where – by levitating a penny into Molly’s hand – he convinces Molly that Oda Mae is telling the truth about him.

Oda Mae allows Sam to possess her body so he and Molly can share a slow dance, but Carl interrupts them and Molly and Oda Mae flee onto the fire escape. Carl chases the women to a loft under construction and catches Oda Mae. When Molly comes to save her, she is grabbed and held hostage. Sam disarms Carl and chases him toward a window. He throws a suspended hook at Sam; it misses, swings back, and shatters the glass. As Carl tries to climb through the window a sharp shard of broken glass falls, impaling him through the chest. Carl’s ghost rises from his body and, as Willie had been, he is grabbed by the creatures from the shadows and is carried to Hell.

Sam asks if the women are all right. Miraculously, Molly can now hear him. A heavenly light shines in the room, illuminating Sam in sight of both of them. Realizing that it is his time to go, he and Molly share tearful goodbyes. Oda Mae tells him that he is being called home, and he thanks her for her help.

Sam then walks into the light and onward to Heaven.

REVIEW:

Considered one the quintessential romantic films of all time, Ghost is a film that I just have not seen all the way through, up to this point in time. Will I be impressed or lose respect for the parts of the film that I have seen of this flick? Only one way to find out!

What is this about?

Gothamites Sam and Molly see their romance shattered when a street thug kills Sam during a mugging. But love endures beyond the grave when a spectral Sam learns that Molly is in danger, and he must find a way to warn her before she suffers his fate.

What did I like?

True love. So many times, we see couples on film that seem as if they have never laid eyes on each other before the cameras started rolling. They have little to no chemistry at all. Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, however, seem to have been in love since the dawn of time. Their romance is red hot on the screen. I don’t know if anything went on with these two off camera, but on camera they shared a love for the ages.

Supernatural. No, this isn’t your typical ghost film, so there isn’t a whole lot of lore to be seen and heard here. That being said, what we do get is pretty special, especially for a chick flick drama! Seeing Swayze wander around trying to communicate with the living was something I enjoyed and it kept my interest more than the embezzling money plot did.

Tone. In today’s cinematic world, this would be a dark and “scary” film, probably meant to be part of some shared universe, because studios think that’s the only way to make money. While this is most definitely a product of the early 90s, the tone cannot be more perfect. The drama and love story are offset by the light-hearted ghost scenes and Whoopi Goldberg’s comic relief, and that is offset by the overarching murder/money plot. Everything compliments each other and it works like a grand symphony!

What didn’t I like?

Drag me to hell. I wasn’t expecting anything on the level of Ghostbusters when it comes to the special effects of this film, but the look of the recently deceased going up or down did nothing for me. I say this more for those that were going down. The demons, if that’s what they were, looked more like cartoon shadows instead of something that was meant to incite fear. Again, given the nature of the film, this is understandable to a point, but surely they could have shelled out a few more $$$ to get something more frightening and evil looking for the bad guy, for lack of a better term.

BFF. Heaven forbid I pass away and my significant other is left alone. Should this happen, I suppose I can take solace in the fact that my bff is a married woman, rather than a slimey, good for nothing, backstabber. Swayze’s best friend is obviously doing his best to keep her Demi Moore from falling into a sever bout of depression or something along those lines, but hitting on her? I think this happened not even a week after the funeral! WTF?!?

Other ghosts. As we see in Whoopi’s..um…place of business? and on the subway, there are other ghosts running around. Here’s my questions about them, though. Do they not see the new guy? Are they just hiding? Why are they here? Maybe I’m asking too many questions for a simple film such as this, but it does make one wonder, regardless.

Final verdict on Ghost? I liked it and can see why it is held is such high regard, but I didn’t love it. For me, it was bit too much on the sappy side and pretty much blew its load with the pottery scene very early in the film. All that aside, I belive this to be a well made picture. Most of the characters are well thought out and their motivations are made clear. I wish something could be done with the antagonist plot, though. Do I recommend it? Sure, why not, this is one of those date movies that women love to force their men to watch, so suck it up gentlemen and enjoy!

4 out of 5 stars

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