CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Matthew McConaughey’s ‘Ghosts of Girlfriends Past’ Overdone, But Relatable
CHICAGO – “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” is the cinematic blending of two familiar formulas: the “love, lose and then love again” framework of most romantic comedies with the idea of transforming ghosts from the classic “A Christmas Carol”. The result: an overdone yet relatable story of a man coming to terms with his true desires.
Celebrity photographer Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) makes a high-profile living shooting the scantily clad. Connor’s true fame, however, seems to come from the serial seduction of his subjects: double-booked dates and time-saving breakups via conference call are a way of life for this master manipulator.
His reputation preceding him, Connor is only a half-expected guest at his kid brother’s wedding. Upon arrival, he makes no effort to hide his disdain for long-term commitment while attempting to convince his brother, Paul (Breckin Meyer), to cancel the nuptials. The presence of Connor’s childhood sweetheart and scorned love, Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner), does little to mute his provocative behavior.
Connor’s antics predictably begin to unravel the wedding and those around him. And so begins Connor’s spiritual awakening – literally – as he’s confronted by the ghost of his mentor: the late Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas). Connor’s cad uncle reflects regretfully (yet comically) on his own life and the way in which he raised his nephew.
|Read Elizabeth Oppriecht’s full review of “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” in our reviews section.|
Uncle Wayne announces the pending arrival of the three ghosts and we’re soon whisked away on a journey through time.
This critic feels about the sequence exploring past girlfriends the way she feels about McConaughey’s experiment with his long hair: “eh”. The supposedly 16-year-old ghost, Allison Vandermeersh (Emma Stone), is distractingly over the top.
Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) tries to save the wedding cake in “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”.
Photo credit: New Line Cinema