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
Photo from: http://www.pinterest.com

Similarities:

  • 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.

Differences:

  • 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!

Best Christmas Movie: Scrooged

Scrooged came out in 1988 when I was six years old. Ten years later it was on in the background at someone’s house. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I sat down to watch this hilarious version of a Christmas classic.

The movie stars the lovable Bill Murray (as Frank Cross) who is mean, selfish, and witty, which entertains those of us with a darker sense of humor. (I hold a special place in my heart for Murray because he is my favorite Ghostbuster). The plot is a spin-off of the all-time favorite A Christmas Carol, and the ghosts are a perfect fit for our Scrooge. I cannot help but watch this movie year round because it’s more than a Christmas classic; it’s just a good movie.

Here are my top reasons why this is my favorite Christmas movie:

1. Bill Murray – He’s a genius. Biting, cold, and yet childlike, you see the sparkle deep down inside that cynical heart. The Scrooge part seems very natural for him, and I never felt that he was that bad of a guy. His snide remarks to everyone around him are some of the best parts of this movie.

2. The little things – Pay attention while watching this movie. You’ll see a definition of ‘cross’ in the background, and Frank leaves his humanitarian trophy in the cab. You would have to watch this movie a dozen times to see all the small things that add to the movie.

3. The dialogue and script – The script was well-written, and all the actors did a great job and improvised where they saw fit. The story took a timeless classic and made it modern and funny with a twisted 80s-style spin. Some of my favorites are lines are, “Now, I have to kill all of you,” “Oh my gosh, does that suck,” “Come!” and “I care!,” and “Ah Haaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

4. The ghosts – The ghost of Christmas past (David Johansen) is as demented as Cross. He gets inside Cross’ head and makes him regret his past. The ghost of Christmas present (Carol Kane) is my favorite though. She beats the crap out of Cross and shows that even fairies have a dark side. Sometimes the truth is painful, and she teaches us all that lesson. The ghost of Christmas future has a small part, and the special effects are pretty cool.

5. Eliot Loudermilk – The disgruntled employee who comes back to get Cross. Eliot (Bobcat Goldthwait) is the equivalent of Bob Cratchit with more of a helpless drunkenness about him. I like his character because he’s innocent and insane at the same time.

The end is not your typical heart-felt ending either. It’s light, funny, and everything wraps up well. And as much as you love mean Frank Cross, you’re still okay with him turning into a good guy. He still has that wit and edge to him, and the final song is a lot of fun.

With that, I encourage you to give a little more this season and ask you to remember those who need a little miracle right now. Put a little love in your heart!