Life + Arts

Fresh take on Dickens’ classic

Moviegoers don’t have to wait until Christmas to see Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

They can catch Ghosts of Girlfriends Past for a new spin on the century-old novel. Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Michael Douglas star in the adaptation.

McConaughey was convincing in his role as smooth player Connor Mead. His suave looks and sweet southern twang made Mead irresistible to women.

Garner’s character, Jenny Perotti, was a strong woman, but was a passive at times. She was victim to the unrelenting charm of Mead, her ex-boyfriend.

Perotti sees Mead for the first time since their split at his brother Paul’s wedding. She suffers a day of heartbreak, compounded by her friends’ unintentionally audible commentary about her inability to move on.

Douglas plays Mead’s Jacob Marley-esque dead uncle Wayne. Uncle Wayne taught Mead the art of womanizing, but isn’t as repentant as Marley is in Dickens’ book. He hit on three ghosts in the movie’s last scene, proving that even death couldn’t change him.

‘ ‘The power in the relationship lies with the one who cares least,’ Uncle Wayne tells Mead.’

Mead, a photographer, thinks casual sex is better than a lasting relationship. He even appears the day before Paul’s wedding to talk him out of getting married.

Mead’s negative attitude towards marriage and love come back to haunt him, as did Scrooge’s views about generosity and Christmas.

‘Marriage is an archaic and oppressive institution that should be abolished, and love is comfort food for the weak and uneducated,’ Mead said when his brother asked him to give the toast.

Just as Dickens’ novel is full of turning points in Scrooge’s life – when he lost his sister, he became bitter and regarded money as the only important object in his life -‘ Ghosts of Girlfriends Past has its landmarks that shape the narrative.

Mead loves childhood sweetheart Perotti, but she hurt him when he was younger, he didn’t want to be that vulnerable again.

As adults, when commitment time came for Mead, he leaves Perotti because he was scarred by the pain of their past.

Parts of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past made audience members laugh out loud, like when Mead demolishes his brother’s four-tier wedding cake with a champagne cork.

Other parts made them cry, like when Mead left Perotti after spending the night with her, returns and watches her cry.

True to Dickens, Mead changes how he feels about life, marriage and love.

This is a romantic comedy that you go watch with the girls after having a glass of wine.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past opens today and is rated PG-13.

Leave a Comment