Over Her Dead Body (2008)

Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and language.
Length: 95 minutes
Grade: BCCD=C
Budget: $10 million
Box Office: $22 million ($8 US, $10 Intl, $4 DVD)

Written and Directed by: Jeff Lowell, who wrote John Tucker Must Die, and television episodes of Just Shoot Me, Spin City, and the Drew Carey Show. .
Starring: Eva Longoria Parker, Paul Rudd, Lake Bell, Jason Biggs, and Lindsay Sloane.

After Eva Longoria dies on her wedding day, her ghost cannot accept the idea of any other woman being in her fiancee’s life, so she tries to thwart his burgeoning romance with a psychic, who he ironically consulted to talk with her in the first place.

Entertainment Value: B
As a movie, this was just a C. It wasn’t particularly funny. But Paul Rudd, is funny enough all on his own to move the movie up a full letter grade. This in spite of it containing Jason Biggs and the very miscast Lake Bell in a comedic role. Also, the biggest plot problem here was that I never could really buy the idea of Kate and Henry’s original relationship. Nonetheless, Paul Rudd is hilarious.

Superficial Content: C
Drugs/Alcohol B, Sexuality C, Violence B, Language C, Illegality A
PG-13 might actually be a little bit high for this one, perhaps PG-10, especially given what’s on television these days. The real issues are sexuality, with several sexual scenes and discussions, and language, which is not clean, but still fairly mild for a PG-13. One of the supporting characters is gay, and there is some slapstick violence. The other issue for many people is the idea of ghosts, psychics, and consulting with the dead. More on that in a moment.

Significant Content: C
Although the premise of the movie is ghosts and psychics, the irony is that the psychic in the movie is freaked out when she encounters a real spiritual presence, so though the supernatural is validated, psychicism is not. Other themes involve love and selfishness versus real caring about someone else’s happiness. Honesty is always better than deception, which backfires. One of my dislikes of this movie was that the only reason there’s a plot is that the new girl won’t simply tell Rudd the truth about what’s going on.

Artistic/Thought Value: D
It’s not great art, and it was clearly not made with a lot of money. An average episode of Psych is generally more thoughtful.

Discussion Questions:
~What do you make of the scene where Ashley calls the priest in to perform his exorcism?
~Are there any interesting parallels to be drawn between the events of this movie and the relationship issues involved in a divorce?
~Who in this movie is acting in a loving manner, and who in a selfish manner? How essential is the notion of self-sacrifice to real love?
~Do you think it’s likely that Kate and Henry would have been in love with each other?
~Given how negative the Bible is towards ghosts and psychics (witches), do you think it’s a good idea to include them in movies? Is this movie favorable or not toward psychics?
~How long is a reasonable amount of time to allow to recover from the loss of a loved one like this? Is it reasonable to expect people to ever truly “move on” and become romantically involved again?
~What do you think of Ashley’s response to Dan’s revelation?
~How does the image of the afterlife portrayed here fit or not with the Bible?

Overall Grade: B-
I enjoyed it, moderately, but mostly because I think Paul Rudd is hilarious.

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