Evans & De Armas Lack Chemistry In Dull, Bloated Rom-Com

Apr 23, 2023

It’s okay for a film to simply be a romance. Ghosted doesn’t understand that at all, going the action route to the point that it fumbles its central relationship. Directed by Dexter Fletcher from a screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Erik Sommers, and Chris McKenna, Ghosted is an unfunny waste of time, a romantic comedy that is too caught up in its spy subplot to be considered remotely entertaining. When even its leads have little chemistry to speak of, and the romantic comedy aspect is barely explored, the film, which has an identity crisis, isn’t worth your time.

Cole Turner (Chris Evans) is a farmer who is into agriculture and history, but has put off traveling the world to write his book after returning to the Washington, DC area to help his ailing father. When it comes to relationships, he can also come off as needy, at least according to his family. After meeting Sadie Rhodes (Ana de Armas) during her visit to the local farmer’s market, Cole is immediately smitten following their first date. But when he doesn’t hear back from her, he decides to visit London to surprise her during her work trip. Unfortunately for him, Cole is kidnapped by a group of men led by Leveque (Adrien Brody) under the assumption that he’s the “Taxman,” who holds the passcode for a weapon that would wipe out the Eastern U.S. seaboard. Cole quickly discovers that Sadie is a CIA agent and that he’s in way over his head.

Related: Ghosted Director On Going Big For His First Action Film

Chris Evans and Ana de Armas in Ghosted

Ghosted has very little to offer. Its romance is stifled and overshadowed by the action, which is bloated and unnecessary. The film attempts to put its main characters in intense situations, but it’s ultimately glib, and the results are neither worthwhile nor heartfelt. If there had been more of a sincere effort at centering the romantic aspects, Ghosted wouldn’t have had to rely on a flimsy action plot to make things exciting, but it squanders any and all sincerity, replacing it with action set pieces that annoy and distract from the main relationship.

Ghosted utilizes some Washington, DC locations well, including Georgetown, but that’s about all the good in the film. De Armas and Evans have lackluster chemistry at best, and while there are moments where their dynamic shows potential for more, the writing is wholly uninspiring and uninterested in developing their relationship beyond the surface. Everything in the story is working against their characters, and it’s unlikely you’ll be invested in them as individuals, much less as a couple. The film tries so hard to be cool that it foregoes evoking any feeling beyond exasperation.

Adrien Brody in Ghosted

The film is deceiving — it’s more spy thriller than romantic comedy despite its title. What’s frustrating is that there are a couple of interesting discussions about being ghosted, dating in general, and even miscommunication, but they’re cut short, lost amidst the chaos of the action-packed plot. When it comes to the dialogue, it’s obvious there are too many cooks in the kitchen; it falls flat and even the actors, who are typically charming in other roles, can’t make it sound good. Ghosted has plenty of cameos, too, which don’t do anything in terms of boosting the film’s entertainment value.

Ghosted is a missed opportunity. In terms of the romantic comedy elements, it has all the ingredients that would otherwise have made for an enjoyable, charismatic film. But the writers’ decision to lean too heavily into the action turned a possibly decent film into a perplexingly bad one. The story has no heart, genuine romance, or humor, the spy subplot is mechanical, and the actors don’t mesh together as well as you might expect. All told, Ghosted doesn’t even meet the lowest standard for what would make a romantic comedy remotely decent and that is disappointing considering the talent involved.

Ghosted is now streaming on Apple TV+. The film is 116 minutes long and rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence/action, brief strong language and some sexual content.

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