Here comes the ghost bride

Posted: February 01, 2008

Eva Longoria Parker as a Bridezilla who has a lethal encounter with an ice sculpture and in the afterlife intimidates women from dating her fiance?

That's the plotline of Over Her Dead Body, a one-eyelash-above-average supernatural rom-com starring Longoria Parker as the corpse bride, Paul Rudd as her husband-to-be, and Lake Bell as the woman who helps him get over his would-be wife and on with his so-called life.

Imagine Blithe Spirit in sun bronzer.

Although the sequences with Longoria Parker are bizarre - less because she resembles a piece of wax fruit than because she seems to be in bossy Desperate Housewives mode and not in this particular movie - Rudd and Bell have nice rapport.

Ashley (played by Bell, best known from Boston Legal) is a caterer/psychic without a man in her life unless you count Dan (Jason Biggs), her gay best friend.

She is hired by the sister of Henry (Rudd), eager to get her veterinarian brother out of mourning. So much so that she gives Ashley the diaries of Henry's late, lamented fiancee, Kate (Longoria Parker), so Ashley can impress Henry with her occult insight.

But when Ashley and Henry are drawn to each other, Kate's ghost haunts Ashley like a jealous ex-girlfriend, but snarkier. (Ghost Bitch was the film's original title.)

What ensues may be predictable, but the slapstick performances of Rudd and Bell are anything but. They court, they spark, and a few times they catch comic fire.

Refreshingly, writer/director Jeff Lowell mines humor not in the boy-meets-girl or ghost-haunts-girlfriend situations. The funniest stuff is the veterinarian's throwaway observations about the difference between dog people and cat people.


Contact movie critic Carrie Rickey at 215-854-5402 or crickey@phillynews.com. Read her blog at "Flickgrrl," http://go.philly.com/flickgrrl/

Written and directed by Jeff Lowell. With Eva Longoria Parker, Paul Rudd, Lake Bell and Jason Biggs. Distributed by New Line Cinema.

Running time: 1 hour, 35 mins.

Parent's guide: PG-13 (sexual candor and profanity)

Playing at: area theaters

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