Ghost (2nd review)
It’s just gotta be way up there on the list of best romantic dramas ever. I think it’s one of the hardest genres to get right, and this movie does everything right. That thing they call chemistry in the movies is actually pretty hard to quantify. You can’t really define it, but you know it when you see it. It is when the male and female leads just click, and succeed in making you feel that they are actually falling for each other, or already in love. Demi Moore (who I usually don’t go crazy over) and Patrick Swayze just make it all work, and the amazing thing is, they only interact during the first fifteen minutes. Then he dies! So it’s really a ghost story … well, the title might have given you a clue about that, I guess. He hasn’t crossed over to wherever one crosses over—and I’m glad to say that neither Heaven nor Hell is mentioned, though it’s clear there is a good place above and a bad place below—because he has to protect her from a really bad man. But he can’t do much but watch, until he meets a phony medium who turns out (to her own horror) to actually be able to hear him.
There are several things that take this movie to a higher level than your standard romance. One is the music. A song, one simple song, and elevate the mood tremendously. “They’re playing our song!” “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’” In this case it is “Unchained Melody.” Then there is the sensuality of Demi Moore working the clay on the potting wheel. But most of all it is Whoopi Goldberg. What any romance needs is a dose of comedy, and she really delivers, making the situation a lot less grim. She won the Oscar, and very much deserved it. Bruce Joel Rubin also won for Original Screenplay.