Eva Longoria Parker has been rated as one of the hottest women to surface in the last few years, and it's only understandable that the beautiful actress attempt to break the TV barrier and make a career on the big screen. Why she chose what is essentially a TV movie as her first project puts into question whether that transition will ever happen.
Parker is, in fact, not the star of Over Her Dead Body, but does get the glamorous role of playing the love interest's dead wife. Even though she's dead, she's not out of the game, as she returns as a ghost to haunt her man's new girlfriend, who just happens to be a psychic who sees dead people. It's one of those laughable roles that really should be reserved for a lesser known actress; while Parker hasn't proven herself by any means, I have to think she could manage a more respectable and meaningful role. Her character isn't even remotely likable, and serves as nothing more than a spoiled, immature annoyance.
The movie itself isn't as terrible as I was expecting, but it's no Oscar winner, either. Over Her Dead Body is Just Like Heaven only with less budget, a poor screenplay and a less respectable cast, and Just Like Heaven was no classic. Writer Jeff Lowell's directorial debut is nothing to scream about, as the film comes off as rudimentary and bland in its delivery. The first ten minutes or so are pretty agonizing, though once it gets into the flow of the story, it picks up a bit. There are a few mildly funny parts, but the movie stays just a blip above flatline for the most part. The romantic comedy aspect is standard, the ghost bits merely an annoying distraction to the inevitable conclusion. As if realizing that his movie wasn't very good, Lowell throws in a ridiculously long fart scene that exemplifies the desperation of the movie.
To make matters worse, Lowell tosses in a pointless side story that lacks any importance or relevance whatsoever. Jason Biggs plays Lake Bell's gay best friend, who in fact isn't actually gay. He professes his love for her, and Lowell takes us on another clunky will-they-won't-they story that is completely predictable. Finally, Lowell all but drops their relationship at the end. It's clunky at best, pathetically bad at worst.
The only saving grace to the film is the chemistry between Bell and Paul Rudd. Bell, actually, is a pretty decent actress, and someone who I actually find more attractive than Parker. She carries the film fairly well, as does Rudd, who's almost always a pleasure to watch. The two make the film watchable.
Over Her Dead Body could have been worse, but it's closer to bad than it is to good. Parker brings nothing to the film, but the other actors pick up her slack. Unfortunately, the movie overall is not worth it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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