(On Cable TV, September 2015) Worth pondering: The good impression left by a film can often be measured solely against expectations. For instance, I expected little of Ghost Town, so when the film managed to pull off decent sequences and amusing moments, it seemed far better than if I had gone in with high expectations. Ghost Town remains, in many ways, a basic romantic comedy with a nebbish protagonist trying to impress a beautiful woman. But this one happens to feature Ricky Gervais as a protagonist who suffers a near-death medical experience that leaves him able to see ghosts in Manhattan. The supernatural element is brought in gently and is always presented wondrously: there isn’t a hint of darkness in the film which, considering that is deals rather heavily in death, is something to admire. Gervais makes for a capable unconventional hero, with anti-social nature believably progressing into something approaching decency by the end of the film. He is ably supported by Greg Kinnear as the ghost of a philanderer trying to meddle in his widow’s affairs. Complications obviously ensue. Fortunately, Ghost Town has an amiable atmosphere, enlivened by a couple of strong sequences. There’s a hilarious hospital scene in which our protagonist discovers his temporary death, for instance; a rapid-fire exploration of the nature of ghosts hanging around Manhattan; and a poignant sequence in which our protagonist gets to help ghosts settle their affairs with the living. It doesn’t make for a film for the ages, but it makes Ghost Town quite a bit better than its closest comparisons. It exceeds expectations, and often enough that’s exactly sufficient to leave audiences with a satisfied smile on their faces.