‘Ghost’ holds on to cinematic life

Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost (1990)

Ghost (1990)

Directed by Jerry Zucker

6.5/10  PG-13

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when I watched “Ghost” alone last night. A quintessential ’90s chick-flick thriller meets “Long Island Medium” in the hit from director Jerry Zucker, AND it wrapped up Oscar nominations for Best Music and Best Picture and wins in acting and Best Screenplay.

It doesn’t take long for Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) to die. Not long at all. But when he reappears as a ghost that can see and hear everything his grieving wife (Demi Moore) does, he sees that she might be next. We see dead people, but she doesn’t. How can he warn her about impending danger? Finally, a conniving psychic (an Oscar win for Whoopi Goldberg) hears him. He has a chance. But there’s no way his wife would ever believe her. Will her time run out? Will his?

Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost (1990)

I’ll be honest, “Ghost” did have its share of unlikable ’90s quirks. The peculiar x-ray visions whenever Swayze walked through a living body was pretty unnecessary. Demi Moore’s 90s bowl cut kinda got on my nerves, but she was quickly forgiven when I saw her acting chops. Maybe she overacts and then quickly underacts with bipolar precision, but we still love her.

The Oscar-winning story gives validation to thousands of psychics that actually might be connecting to spirits. Maybe they’re nut-jobs, but maybe they’re not. The script is tender and comedic, lively and spellbinding, fascinating and full of heart. Sam Wheat might not have a pulse, but “Ghost” does. It’s a truly memorable, beautiful picture, and it does more for “Unchained Melody” than the Righteous Brothers did alone.

It might be cheesy, but you might tear up. It gets to you. It’s a real punch in the gut. Or maybe that’s just Swayze.

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