Scrooged vs. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Watching Ghosts of Girlfriends Past actually inspired this post. I know it strange, but I take inspiration where I find it 🙂 It occurred to me that this movie borrowed a few aspects from Scrooged, so I decided to have some fun with the review.

If you haven’t seen these movies, here’s a quick summary:
Scrooged (1988): A selfish TV exec needs to change and learn the true meaning of Christmas.
Ghosts of Girlfreinds Past (2009): A womanizer needs to change his ways; not a Christmas movie.

Billy Murray Scrooged
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Matthew McConaughey
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  • Both use Dickens’ A Christmas Carol format. The dead guy who comes to warn the main character, and there are three ghosts.
  • Both have a love interest who got away.
  • The girl who got away is a brunette. In Scrooged, it’s Karen Allen; in Ghosts, it’s Jennifer Garner.
  • Both have a strong actor who plays the main character (aka the a’hole) In Scrooged, it’s Bill Murray; in Ghosts, it’s Matthew McConaughey. They both have a brother, who is really the only person they love.
  • The main characters are successful in the entertainment industry.
  • The ghost of Christmas/Girlfriends present is the most interesting ghost, both are women, and neither are afraid to teach the main guy a lesson.


  • Even though both use the same format, Ghosts is not a Christmas movie — it’s a true rom-com. It actually deals addresses the pressures of getting married, and if you are single, the pressures of fitting into a society full of love and couples.
  • The love interests are very different characters. Allen is sweet, a do-gooder, donates her time to the less fortunate. She clearly loves Murray and wants a future with him; she supports him throughout the entire movie. Garner hates McConaughey; he has obviously jaded her against men and relationships, but she’s not quite ready to give up on love. Garner is quick and sometimes nasty to him.
  • The first ghost in Scrooged has one primary scene. In Ghosts, that ghost (his uncle) stays with McConaughey throughout his journey and even pushes McConaughey into his own grave.
  • Murray is a selfish, true cynic of a man. He’s hollow and would staple a mouse’s head to make a costume work. McConaughey is this character 2.0. He’s a real piece of crap, and it’s obvious they tried to make him hateable. They did a good job.

So which one is a better movie? I prefer Scrooged because it’s funnier and moves well. The pace is perfect. Ghosts feels a little slow, and they spend too much time on the past. Emma Stone plays a great ghosts of girlfriends past, but the exposition slows the movie down. Murray may not be as mean as McConaughey, but he’s a lot more endearing and fun. Both movies deserve a watch, but I can and have rewatched Scrooged several more times.
Share your thoughts in the comments below, and if you want us to “verses” something, feel free to suggest something!

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