Over Her Dead Body
R1 - America - New Line Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Andreas Petersen (15th May 2008).
The Film

I like comedies. I like movies with romantic elements to them. Why is it, then, that I never seem to like movies self-classified as a “romantic comedy”? In my opinion, romantic comedies tend to be the lowest denominator of film, riddled with lazy slapstick humor, incredibly juvenile potty humor, and completely trite dialogue, and I say that as a person who hates to use the word “trite”. "Over Her Dead Body", helmed by "John Tucker Must Die" (2006) scribe Jeff Lowell, is possibly one of the worst romantic comedies I have ever seen, and considering I’ve seen the movie "Hitch" (2005), this should speak leagues about the film.

The story of "Over Her Dead Body" concerns Henry (Paul Rudd), who’s fiancée Kate (Eva Longoria Parker), dies on their wedding day, crushed by an ice sculpture. A year passes and Henry seeks help from psychic Ashley (Lake Bell). One thing leads to another and Henry and Ashley start falling for each other. This really pisses off Kate’s ghost, so she begins to haunt Ashley, convinced that it is her mission on Earth to keep this woman away from her fiancée. Kate accomplishes this by being extremely annoying in a way that only Longoria is capable of. That is to say, in an incredibly un-funny manner.

I’m not a fan of Longoria in the slightest. Maybe I’m just bitter towards her because I hate the Spurs, but I always found her really irritating on her famous role on "Desperate Housewives" (2004-Present). I feel like she has no talent when it comes to comedic performances or timing. Seeing as how large portion of the film’s humor rests on her shoulders, this is cause for concern. However, she isn’t solely to blame. Rudd is a funny guy, at least under the right director. I’ve seen him excel under Judd Apatow, but flop under Nicholas Stoller. Lowell falls under the category of not knowing how to utilize this talented actor. The consistent banter between Henry and Ashley feels as though it is primarily composed of jokes tossed around the writing room for the US version of "The Office" (2005-Present), but cut for not being funny in the slightest.

Moving past the performances, the film continues to just not have a lot going for it. The film is terribly paced and edited, making the 90 minute run-time feel as though it is an eternity. Characters just act so inconsistently in the film, doing things that aren’t warranted by any sort of development earlier in the movie. There’s also the fact that the movie just doesn’t look good, whether you’re looking at the near non-existent directing, or the terribly outdated special effects. This film really is a hop-skip-and-jump away from looking like a strait to video disaster. I was shocked when I found out this movie actually had a theatrical run.

Maybe I’m asking for too much from the movie. It has inserted itself into a genre of film that I have no respect for, so maybe I should have lowered my expectations. Honestly though, this movie just makes me mad, because I’d love to see a successful romantic comedy, but irredeemable garbage like this keeps getting released. The only way I could ever suggest this is if you enjoy tired jokes that ultimately lead up to a blatantly predictable ending. Otherwise, steer clear.

Video

"Over Her Dead Body" is presented in both its original 2.35:1 widescreen anamorphic theatrical aspect ratio, and a 1.33:1 fullscreen transfer. This movie probably couldn’t look plainer, as it seems as though no effort was put into the cinematography. I mean, even indie-guerilla films have some sort of visual flair. The movie just looks incredibly dull. As for the actual quality of the film I have no real complaints. Just an average transfer for an average looking movie.

Audio

"Over Her Dead Body" is offered in both an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, as well as an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround track. I never felt as though the film justified its surround sound capabilities, and in only a few instances felt real movement with the sound across the room. The movie was mostly audible, though there was one or two instances where I swear the sound peaked, and it wasn’t my speakers, because they weren’t up particularly loud.
Optional subtitles are also included in English and Spanish.

Extras

New Line has released this film with extras that include only the film's theatrical trailer as well as some bonus trailers. Below is a closer look at these supplements.

Part of me wants to give the disc a positive score for the barren wasteland that is the extras of the film, as I’m not sure how much more of "Over Her Dead Body" I could take. Just having the theatrical trailer, which runs for 2 minutes and 32 seconds, was enough.

The disc also includes bonus trailers for:

- "The Sex and the City Movie" running for 48 seconds.
- "Run Fatboy Run" running for 2 minutes and 19 seconds.
- "Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show" running for 1 minutes and 20 seconds.
- "Mama’s Boy" running for 37 seconds.
- "Fool’s Gold" running for 34 seconds.

Overall

The Film: F Video: B- Audio: B Extras: F Overall: D-

 


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