| Shawnee Mission West High School graduate Paul Rudd (“Knocked Up”) plays a sweet, easy-going and considerate veterinarian named Henry. His beautiful, demanding and manipulative fiancée Kate (Eva Longoria Parker from “Desperate Housewives”) is accidentally crushed to death on their wedding day when an ice sculpture of an angel without wings falls on her.
A year later, Henry is stuck in a rut and unable to move on with his life. His meddling sister Chloe introduces him to a psychic named Ashley (Lake Bell who played Sally Heep in “Boston Legal”). Ashley also runs a catering business with her gay friend Dan (Jason Biggs from “American Pie”). A romance blossoms between Henry and Ashley.
There is a fly in the ointment when Kate’s ghost comes back to Earth to haunt Ashley. Ashley is frightened initially and has her priest perform an exorcism. Ashley and Kate engage in a verbal tug-of-war over Henry’s affection.
This movie borrows liberally from the 1950s television show “Topper” where only Ashley can see and hear Kate. Everyone else thinks Ashley is talking to herself. This inferior flight of fantasy offers segments resembling those found in “Heaven Can Wait” and “Ghost.”
The befuddling script meanders and waffles with too many subplots. The story turns flat like a cola that has lost its fizz. There is no chemistry between Rudd and Bell, putting a damper on the romantic side of the equation.
Rudd adeptly plays the straight man while Bell struggles with the slapstick. Her red hair is the only thing that reminds you of Lucille Ball. She lacks the talent to pull off the physical brand of comedy.
Parker is annoying and maintains the same disgruntled expression throughout the film. She is like an unnecessary third wheel on a bicycle built for two.
There are a smattering of funny moments revolving around an overweight dog, a talking parrot and unexpected flames from cooking mishaps. The movie has to resort to an extended flatulence scene for its biggest laughs.
The 93-minute running time passes so slowly that it seems like an eternity. Besides requiring a huge suspension of belief, this celluloid train wreck is best described as dumb and stupid. It belongs at the bottom of the barrel getting a jump on the competition for the worst movie of the year.
Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"