Fast on the heels of “27 Dresses,” clear the tracks for another romance directed at the Lifetime crowd, and this one comes at us with a defective engine marked “Love, Death, and Romance.’
Alas, on the crooked rails of “Ghost” and on the recent holiday offering “P.S. I Love You,” we meet Kate, the bride who confronts the angel of death on her wedding day — that is, she is killed by an ice sculpture of a wingless cherubim that falls from the back of a pickup onto Kate’s noggin.
In paradise or purgatory or some sort of sterile, whitened Neverland, Kate meets and rejects an otherworldly guide before she descends to Earth as a ghost to annoy Ashley, the psychic who dares to fall for Henry, the poor chap who would have been the poor deceased’s husband.
“Over Her Dead Body” comes at us with a lesson for those of us who are dead: Don’t get jealous when your intended falls for another person. Gee whiz! Think about his happiness for a change. In this insipid morality play about jealousy beyond the grave, Eva Longoria Parker’s Kate just does not get it. She even goes so far as to pay a personal visit to Ashley (Lake Bell), who doubles as a caterer; her assistant is the flamboyantly gay Dan, played by Jason Biggs. I mention Dan’s orientation, only because it turns out to be a ridiculously lame factor as the movie wears on, and I mean wears on in the most threadbare fashion.
Directed by television writer-producer Jeff Lowell, who has an intrusive voice-over presence, “Over Her Dead Body” is more a novelty item than a movie, and nothing approaching the screwball comedy tradition it tries vainly to emulate.
This item is strictly Amateurville with acting that is embarrassingly limp and lame. As Henry, the unfortunate bridegroom, only Paul Rudd comes close to creating an interesting character, and even then, the praise is, at best, muted.
As just one idea of the film’s facile, juvenile stab at humor, we witness a scene in which Kate’s ghost produces prolonged bursts of flatulence only Kate can hear; this is an attempt to prove that Henry is a loudly inappropriate suitor.
“Over her Dead Body” is a movie you endure more than you enjoy. It comes to us, or at us, with images of levitation, silly bird talk, and a plot that rates as a rejected sitcom. It’s not really about love or death; nor is it much fun. If anyone out there is composing a thesis about the first two months of the year as trash-bin movie time, consider this one as a piece of sadly persuasive evidence