, 95 min, 2008
Director: Jeff Lowell
Writer: Jeff Lowell
Stars: Eva Longoria, Paul Rudd, Lake Bell
Here is a romantic comedy that is neither romantic, nor comedic. It is lacking in chemistry, interest, laughs and even good ol’ common sense! To boot, Over Her Dead Body treats its idiotic plot device as just that – a plot device, idiotically, and without a scintilla of wonder at its implications.
The plot: Kate (Eva Longoria Parker of Desperate Housewives) and Henry (Paul Rudd) were very much in love – we know this because of the photo slide show over the opening credits – and were about to get married. Then Kate got crushed by an angel-shaped ice statue (actually, a woman-shaped ice statue, since it had no wings), and all bets were off.
Now Henry is alone and sullen until his sister Chloe (Lindsay Sloane) decides it might be cool if she has Henry see Ashley (Lake Bell, formerly of Boston Legal), a caterer and part-time psychic who claims she can contact the dead; maybe then, he could move on.
Not wanting to hedge her bets, Chloe gives Ashley Kate’s diary so she can absorb some information and regurgitate it on command, thus giving the impression of actually having contacted the deceased Kate. However, Kate actually does contact Ashley – and she’s pissed off.
Soon, Kate is playing goofy PG-13-rated pranks on Ashley, driving her nuts, while Ashley is falling for the bereaved Henry. Can you guess where this is going? I’m sorry – you guessed before I even started my third sentence, didn’t you? There’s also the gay co-caterer Dan (Jason Biggs) who has some secrets of his own, just for good measure.
One thing I was struck by was the utter lack of believability that a woman as outwardly beautiful and inwardly ugly as the character that Eva Longoria Parker plays – she makes her character Gabrielle on TV’s Desperate Housewives (yes, I’m a fan) look like a real peach! – would ever be even potentially engaged to marry a guy like Paul Rudd. He’s too good for her. She’s from a different planet. You know how it is. Want a nickel’s worth of free advice? Casting is everything! There is no chemistry, no believability (or even suspension of disbelief) without the right casting.
This hunk of formula idiocy comes via writer-director Jeff Lowell, the screenwriter of such beautiful work as John Tucker Must Die, as well as TV’s Spin City and The Drew Carey Show. It would be one thing if it was funny, or interesting, or thought-provoking or even just plain old romantic. It’s not. It’s boring, it’s stale and it feels astonishingly long at a mere 95 minutes. Bleh.