Over Her Dead Body (2008)

dir. Jeff Lowell

It claims to be a romantic comedy. A cursory glance at the poster, all bright colours and goofy faces, certainly makes it look like a romantic comedy. But how can a film like Over Her Dead Body truly be classed as a romantic comedy? A romantic comedy only needs two things: romance and comedy. First of all, there is no romance. When Eva Longoria’s character Kate dies (in a truly confusing incident involving an ice sculpture), a year later she’s committed to haunting Ashley (Lake Bell), a psychic who has started to date Eva Longoria’s former fiancé Henry (Paul Rudd). A love triangle is at the centre of the film, yet the lack of chemistry is frankly alarming. Kate’s commitment to Henry seems less affectionate and more possessive, while Ashley and Henry have seemingly nothing to talk about except his dead fiancée. Awkward scenes like when Kate the ghost hovers above the bed while Ashley and Henry try to have sex are just disturbing. Obviously, these kinds of scenarios are where the comedy is supposed to come in, but there is no comedy either. Painfully drawn-out fart jokes, dumb voice effects and spontaneous falls to the ground give Over Her Dead Body the air of a Happy Madison production. But even those usually have bright colours and poppy cinematography, whereas all the visuals in Over Her Dead Body look diluted and grey. The film is already so flat, so joyless, and then it has the audacity to throw in a side storyline where a trusted best friend has been lying about his entire life, for five years, in order to creep on a woman without her consent. But it’s okay, because he says it’s love, and the movie says it’s love. Over Her Dead Body doesn’t know what love is, it doesn’t know what comedy is, and it’s just a shame it wasn’t brutally killed by an ice sculpture before it was unleashed on the world.

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