Time: 107 mins.
Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Song.
In the wake of the upcoming EVOLUTION, another comedy directed by Ivan Reitman about men battling otherwordly forces, I decided it was high time to write about one of my all-time favorite movies. I find it just as funny now as I did when I saw it three times in the theater in 1984. There's something magical about a film where everything just comes together perfectly. Murray had already made the comedy classics CADDYSHACK and STRIPES, but it was this film that blasted his fame into the stratosphere. He couldn't have chosen two better partners in crime than Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd. Together they complete a perfect comedy trifecta of blatant sarcasm, bone dry wit and pure silliness. Even Weaver, more well-known for her dramatic work against aliens, is dangerously funny here. Of course, all of their talent would have amounted to nothing without the brilliant script by Ramis and Aykroyd. It's not easy to write a screenplay that's funny and speaks to its' audience. It's a miracle when one continues to do so decades later.
This is not a particularly complicated story. It centers on the waning careers of three paranormal professors, who are more hucksters than scientists. Their lack of any real scientific data gets them thrown on the street, forcing them to rethink their careers. With few choices available to them, they decide to open a ghost removal service. They are hoping for success, but are completely unprepared for the onslaught of calls that come their way. It seems New York has become a breeding ground for the undead. Peter Venkman (Murray) is generally uninterested in the hands-on/geeky part of the job until they get a visit from the enchanting Dana Barrett (Weaver). Strange things have been happening in her apartment and though she doesn't believe in ghosts is scared to return until a "professional" takes a look at the situation. Her conversation with Peter doesn't exactly put her mind at ease, he's more interested in her than the eggs that fried themselves on her counter, but she doesn't have many options. They are the only "ghostbusters" in the city.