Although Peter Jackson's movie is based on a highly praised novel, the basic story is not so different from that of "Ghost," an enormous mainstream hit about a murder victim caught in an otherworldly limbo, watching over his loved ones and trying to bring his killer to justice before finally ascending to his heavenly reward. Even if you balked at the supernatural trappings, "Ghost" had an ingeniously layered, Oscar-winning screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin, and it also had a light touch, perhaps because it was directed by Jerry Zucker, one of the creators of "Airplane!" If you're going to try to sell audiences on a candy-colored afterlife, it's wise to do it with a fast-paced plot and touches of wacky humor, two elements absent from "The Lovely Bones."
DreamWorks / Paramount
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