Sometimes, filmmakers venture into territory where the appealing young couple cannot live happily ever after. When the handsome hero dies within the first few moments of the film, it is hard to label it a "romantic comedy," and the producers are taking a chance with risky material. Some movie authorities describe "Ghost," from 1990, as a romantic fantasy. Although it did turn some audience members off, the movie was very successful at the box office. It was also successful during that year's awards season, and it is now a Broadway play.
"Ghost" stars Patrick Swayze as Sam Wheat, a diligent banker who moves into a New York City apartment with his girlfriend, Molly (played by Demi Moore), an artist who specializes in pottery. At the bank, Sam finds discrepancies in some accounts and shares this disturbing news with his friend, Carl (played by Tony Goldwin). That evening, Sam and Molly are mugged, and Sam dies as a result. Despite being dead, he still exists in ghost form. The only person who can communicate with him is Oda Mae Brown (played by Whoopi Goldberg), a con artist who works as a psychic, usually inventing stories to appease her gullible clients. When Sam actually breaks through to her, she is surprised to find that she actually does have authentic psychic powers. Sam uses her as an intermediary to communicate with Molly. He learns that the mugging was no accident, and Molly is in danger.
"Ghost" has an intriguing screenplay which won an Academy Award. It is part thriller, part fantasy, part comedy, and part love story. The movie does a strong job of balancing all these elements.
The late Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore are both very good in the lead roles. Their chemistry is memorable. One of the most famous scenes in the movie shows them making a pot, and many viewers will claim that this scene is more erotic than 95% of movie scenes that depict physical love making. Whoopi Goldberg is also strong. She provides much of the film's comic relief. Her performance won her an Oscar.
"Ghost" is well-worth seeing of its offbeat story.