Anne T. Donahue
June 13, 2013 4:00 pm

Wow, well here’s something I should’ve written about 16 years ago before the Internet even existed: Ghost. The movie about a man, and a woman, and a clay pot, and Whoopi Goldberg, and oh man, OTHER THINGS.

Basically, this is the best KIND of movie, particularly because it involves… [dramatic pause]… GHOSTs. Ghosts everywhere! On the subway, at Demi Moore’s house — everywhere. And we’re going to talk about each and every one of them because who doesn’t love a good ghost tale? Nobody we want to know, and that’s a fact. “Ditto,” you say, and I smile and nod.

So let’s get right to the point. We’ve got a lot of ghost talk to get through, and without our pals the Ghost Hunters, this could take HOURS. (Two, specifically, since it’s the duration of the film.)

Let’s hop to it!

1. The first time I saw this movie was in high school

So please let the record state that every time I saw Demi Moore’s hair, all I could hear was Monica Gellar’s voice saying to Phoebe, “Not DUDLEY Moore! DEMI Moore!” and Phoebe answering, “Oh, she has LOVELY hair!” (It’s true, Phoebe. You aren’t lying.) But, like Pretty Woman and every other movie on earth, I wasn’t allowed to see Ghost when it was popular. So instead, my mom and I would wheel the shopping cart past the display at the grocery store (I mean, I was four, so my parents’ rule was valid), and I would see the clay pot thing and the weird silhouette cardboard cut-out and try to guess what the movie was about. (Clay pots, usually. Maybe dead pottery.) Please imagine my HORROR when I realized it was about neither of those things.

2. Why does the word “Ghost” flash like that in the beginning with such a loud sound effect?

This isn’t The Sixth Sense, everyone! This is a romance! ABOUT A WOMAN AND A GHOST. There is NO NEED to freak us out with a really loud note and enormous upper case letters. Some of us signed up for a rom-com, and while we are about to be terribly disappointed because this is not, not a single soul (GET IT? Ghost pun) was ready to feel actual fear.

3. How did they not know all this space existed in their home?

What kind of home owners are they? I rented an apartment and I knew how much space I had. I go to a HOTEL, and I investigate to see how much room I’ve been allotted for dancing around to Christmas music while getting ready to go out (see: my friend Catie and my Montreal adventure last December — no regrets, only achievements). But these guys buy a house and think “we’ll figure it out,” I guess? Are they rich? Is this what being rich is like? And if they don’t own the house, are they just knocking down walls for a good time? If that’s the case, they’re in for a world of hurt as soon as their landlord finds out. Is that why he gets murdered? No, but let’s pretend. (“I told you: NO RENOVATIONS!”)

Also, Patrick Swayze’s horrible friend looks like Cooper from Center Stage. I wish he was.

4. Shout-out to Sam aka Patrick Swayze’s character being the worst at the beginning?

Why did I not notice this before? So he and Cooper from Center Stage are pretending Cooper is dying of the plague in the elevator (from a germaphobe to them: I hate you), then as soon as they get off the elevator, Sam’s like “Oh, Susan! Look-ing gooood!” WHAT’S IT TO YOU, SAM? WHO EVEN ARE YOU? Are you friends? If so, well, I don’t know. Also, why are you showing off your suspenders like they’re a thing? Were they a thing in the ’80s? I was a tiny baby, so I don’t know. But if they were, I bet it’s like showing off … a phone (???) today. NOBODY CARES. Except for Cooper, who love$$$$$$ money. I know this because he looked at an expensive car and made a comment about wanting it. #observations

5. Why does Demi Moore care about Sam’s leather chair?

Is that a thing, you guys? Caring about the guy’s chair when you move in? Is that something I should worry about caring about? Like, should I really care about whether or not a guy brings his favourite chair into the apartment we both pay for? I feel like I’d be upset if he brought a chair with rats living in it, but a normal leather chair? Who cares if it doesn’t fit! Am I wrong, though? Like, SHOULD I CARE? Because I feel like if you care about that, your life must be pretty amazing because wow you are fighting about A CHAIR. It’s a chair! Just put cool stuff on the walls, and it’s fine.

6. I think it’s fundamentally weird, though, that he says “ditto”

That is such a red flag I don’t even know where to begin. Oh, I know: being unable to say “I love you.” I mean, WHAT? Imagine you move in with a guy, and every time — EVERY TIME — you tell him you love him he says “ditto”? I think we’d have to have a talk about that. And I think it would go something like this: “Why can’t you say ‘I love you’?” – “I don’t know, I just can’t.” – “I think you need to work on that before we advance relationship-wise. Also, you just ruined my clay pot.”

7. HE TOTALLY RUINS HER CLAY POT

I would be SO ANGRY. That would be like the guy who can’t say I love you to me (a.k.a. Sam-the-soon-to-be-ghost) coming up right now and pressing all the buttons on my laptop when I was trying to type then hitting “submit.” Then him saying “I hope it wasn’t a masterpiece!” YOU HOPE?! MAYBE IT COULD HAVE BEEN. I DON’T KNOW. DON’T TOUCH MY STUFF. THIS IS MY JOB. YOU ARE RUINING MY WORK! That is what I would say. That would be like Molly going to his work and when he’s about to do something with money, running in and taking the money and shredding it and making everybody watch. But to “Unchained Melody.”

8. I have no idea what Sam’s job is, though

I just don’t know. Money? He does money? His job his money? He works in the money industry? “In finance” is what I think people “in finance” call it? There. He does finance. I don’t know how or what, but I think there are investments. Either way, to change what he saw on the screen, he just hit the monitor, so he does NOT work in computers, we know that much, he works in money. “Finance.” “Money.” “Not in computers.”

9. Woah, now Sam’s demeaning Demi Moore’s job?

So she tells him she’s going to have two pieces of her work (not the pieces ruined by him, I guess) in her friend’s gallery, and the New York Times is coming to review them. And okay! Great! That’s seriously rad. But do you know what is not? Sam’s reaction, which is all, “So what? Art critics are just artists who dropped out of school — the only people who’ll read the reviews are no one.” Like… HUH? And then when she says “Did I tell you about what my friend said?” he’s all “Yeah, about six times.” Well EXCUSE HER for being excited about HER SUCCESS, person who is supposed to be her partner. Fine, he says her work is beautiful — eventually. But can we just relax, Sam? Just be cool. And for the LOVE OF GOD, stop saying “ditto.” (“But it’s my thing!” – “No. Stop now.”)

10. BUT JUST GIVE HIM THE WALLET WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU, GUY?

Everybody knows that you’re supposed to take the wallet and throw it far away and then run. THAT’S WHAT YOU DO. Why did you try and fight him!? Now look what’s happened. NOW YOU ARE A GHOST LIKE IN THE MOVIE GHOST.

11. Whatever, Cooper Neilson

YOU WOULD go for Molly AT THE FUNERAL. This is just like when other Cooper offered Jodie Sawyer cookies AFTER they hooked up. Then basically ditched her. (Okay, they’re not similar at all. But let me have this.) Though I will say this wake looks hopping — so maybe that’s why Cooper’s a little bit confused.

12. No, stop fighting the ghosts

THE FIRST RULE OF GHOST CLUB, SAM, IS YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT BEING A GHOST AND ALSO STOP FIGHTING HUMANS. (I have to express myself via caps lock for this because it’s very important information. I mean, for all I know, confused ghosts are reading this right now.) So here’s the thing: if you are a ghost, you have only the power of your mind, and also the power of scaring people by making things fall (according to Ghost Hunters). SO instead of fighting the burgalor, you follow him. To his home. And you learn his weaknesses and OH WAIT THAT EVENTUALLY HAPPENS. But still! Know that already, Sam. You could’ve destroyed his psyche in the first ten minutes, ultimately rendering him helpless and traumatized (by whispering the burgalor’s high school crushes’ names repeatedly).

13. Why does this train ghost care so much about Sam?

I mean, first, why are you so attached to your train when you were sad about being there, anyway? Second, WHY DO YOU CARE if someone else is on the train? Was he the type of person to also care about someone’s chair when moving in with someone? Is that what kind of ghosts those people grow up to be? Also, “LIKE TRAINS?!’ Um… kind of? Why would you shout that? Out of anything to shout! I would personally shout “HERE’S YOUR STOP.” But the scene isn’t over yet, so maybe he will.

So yeah, no, turns out he NEVER SAYS THAT. Or why he’s there? Like, did he die on a train? Did he fall in love on a train? Was his dad a conductor and he’s still determined to show his dad he can be somebody? WHO ARE YOU, TRAIN MAN. WHAT IS YOUR LEGACY.

WAIT OKAY I have realized he was a man who was either pushed or mentally ill and believes people are after him. This makes me so sad. Which is why we’re going to switch gears (not to gloss over it, but that is worth a blog post unto itself), and move on to…

14. We need to talk about Willy Lopez

This man has issues. I don’t even really know where to begin? He is obviously a very poor person with an addiction to alcohol, and now he’s staring menacingly at the photo of Demi Moor after having seen her in her bra? Also, he is a for-hire person meaning he is desperate. He sucks at robbing people, too, and also breaking and entering. Basically, this guy needs to get some help. Just… every kind you can imagine. I almost feel like that would be my ghost scare — more of an intervention than anything, actually. (“Please, just… get a hold of yourself. It’s time to get it together, thanks.”)

15. Other important things include:

a) How handsome Patrick Swayze is. THE MAN WAS SO HANDSOME. He looks a little like a guy I used to like, BUT I can look past that and bask in the glory of the good looking-ness of this gentleman.

b) Whoopi Goldberg’s about to arrive

16. WHOOPI GOLDBERG RULES BY THE WAY

I just don’t know how to stress that enough. She. Rules. Especially in this! Did she get an Oscar nomination? I feel like she did. If she didn’t, that’s an atrocity. If she did, and then didn’t win, that’s an even bigger atrocity. Oh wait, checking… YES SHE WON. CAN WE ALL JUST BE WHOOPI GOLDBERG, PLEASE? She is cooler than us, and also, in this role, she has the attitude I would LOVE to have. Instead, I will say this: Whoopi, if you’re reading this, please be my friend. Thank you.

17. And then WHAT A TWIST!

Everyone’s onto you, Cooper Neilson of Center Stage! EVERYONE! But mostly us and Sam, who just discovered that you are in way over your head. Meanwhile, is it wrong that right now, as Cooper is talking about being way in over his head in terms of drug dealers, I am thinking about the cold Chinese food Willy Lopez has just left sitting on his stool? Like, I would actually kill for some Chinese food right about now. And Willy just leaves it. And Cooper doesn’t care that it’s sitting there. I get that Sam has been accidentally murdered and is now a ghost, but … that Chinese food. It’s just SITTING there.

Where do you guys think it is now? Gone? I miss it. I hope it misses me too.

18. And then Demi Moore just breaks the glass jar…?

And it’s like, okay. #Symbolism but also #you #will #have #to #clean #that #glass #up ALSO, she has a cat! THAT CAT WILL BE WALKING ON GLASS. What are you, a monster, Demi Moore’s character? Rolling the penny around and then breaking a jar, only to have your cat try to navigate around that later. Also, what a buzzkill: knowing that after you made that display of symbolism, you would have to clean up a lot of glass. Like, a lot. (And what if we hadn’t been filming? Then she would’ve just been doing it FOR NO ONE.)

Then Cooper Neilson takes his shirt off, and I’m sorry but if I were Demi Moore I’d just say, “It’s awkward that you’re shirtless right now so put one on, thanks.” Because you know what? It is awkward. Also because I’m pretty sure he did it on purpose. To be “sexy.” When Molly is having a literal breakdown.

19. But then, the heist!

Well, no. BUT this is as Ocean’s 11 as Ghost is going to get! I like how this is 1990, and absolutely NO security measures are taken to withdraw $4 million. Just a comparison of signatures. And then the flipping over of things! I would like a ghost friend. Not actually, since it would scar me for life, but one in theory. Like Casper — but not 12. But still voiced by Devon Sawa. Basically, let’s just have a real great laugh at the expense of Cooper Neilson who is having a full-on meltdown.

20. And then Whoopi Goldberg turns into Sam! 

AND YES I KNOW IT’S SAM. But let’s remember that Sam’s actually asking Whoopi Goldberg to do him a big favour. Because I’m not going to lie: I don’t know if I’d be as helpful to Sam as Whoopi Goldberg is. And that is exactly why ghosts know not to hang around me. I am far too selfish, and would ask them to find me snacks and money in exchange for my time. They wouldn’t, and there you go.

But that being said, you guys know how terrified I am of ghosts/hauntings thanks to my deep-seeded fear of The Sixth Sense. And yet despite that fear I cry like a CHILD at the end of Ghost. (Think “puppy in a cup” from New Girl. Because it is EXACTLY THE SAME. Minus the actual hormones because you could show me this scene at any point of any day and I would still cry.) (IT’S SAD, ALRIGHT?) (I am just really bad at death scenes. Like, I’ve cried at Star Trek. And I’m not joking.)

So that being said, DITTO. DITTO FOREVER.

You May Like