Is it too early to do a remake of Ghost? I don’t know what the current record is for remake following original ..err… make, but I think this one’s due for a revisiting. That’s not because the original isn’t one fine piece of film. In fact, last night I stayed up until past 2am to watch the ending. And I’ve seen the ending about 25 times. In the last two years. I don’t know why it works out that way, but Kim starts watching it, and I finish it. I’m not completely sure I’ve ever seen the beginning. I bet it’s terrific, though.

In any case, besides having a timeless message and besides the fact that special effects have improved by a factor on the scale of the quantity of helium atoms in the sun, I think the scene where Sam Wheat possesses Oda Mae’s body (yeah, I know the character’s names) to make out with Molly one last time was just a little too weird in 1990, so they had to gloss over it. Nowadays, I think people could deal with it, and Whoopi Goldberg might even be nominated for an Oscar, or something. Or maybe that fad has already sailed.

What I was thinking last night was that it would be even more interesting if instead of Sam dying, Molly was the ghost. It would make the Oda Mae possession scene a little easier, and it would certainly be a change. There are a couple of problems with that change, though. Instead of Molly moping romantically because Sam got himself killed, Sam would probably slit his own wrists because he got Molly killed. Maybe Molly would have to fight the attacker instead, and then Sam could just angst a bit about about how manly he is, since his girlfriend took on their attacker. I think Jude Law would be good for the role. Of course, a few other things would have to change – Molly would be the banker, and the bastard sneaky murderous friend would have to be a woman, to make the triangle in the movie work properly. But that’s no big deal.

The big problem is that it really wouldn’t be romantic anymore. Romance movies, I’ve come to discover, rely upon a fairly ineffectual heroine. Oh, sure the heroine does plenty of things, but largely they backfire and get her into delightfully sticky predicaments that the hero must then extricate her from. That, or all of her actions and machinations are largely proven useless in the end when it is shown that the hero is not a jerk after all, but rather has been secretly working throughout the movie to rescue the heroine from the problem that she thought he’d caused in the first place (though in fact he hadn’t). I think my sample of romance movies might be a little too small for those kind of gross generalizations (I think the Working Title movies (especially Bridget Jones’ Diary), Pride and Prejudice, and Gone with the Wind (of which I’ve never actually seen more than 1/3) are my data. Regardless (or irregardless for you other rebels), it would be an incredible challenge to make the movie romantic. Maybe a romantic comedy, but then Ghost would lose too much of what made it good.

What I thought then, on an entirely different track, is that an interesting movie/comic book/general story idea could more or less start out the same, with an average couple, and the Molly character dying, and her solving her own murder with her life-endowed half’s halting assistance. But why stop there? They’d be a great crime fighting duo. I mean, just think of the possibilities – fight scenes would be a trip, with the ghost poking into substantiality to distract a baddie long enough for her not-so-athletic lover to land a good punch. She could stick her head inside closed doors (no breaking and entering, just entering), and he could deal with the authorities and the victims and what not. Think Remington Steele meets The Frighteners. Yeah, that could be good. Of course, you have to throw in a few twists, too, like they need a medium to be able to communicate (like the Oda Mae character, or a steamy mirror), and maybe some kinda of curse, like she can’t move on until he dies, and he can’t die until she’s reborn, or something like that. Something more clever than that, hopefully.

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