I Wish Apple TV Had Ghosted This Script

Image Courtesy of AppleTV+

Sadly, Ghosted passes the Bechdel-Wallace test in the first two minutes. I wish I could complain about this because there are FOUR screenwriters credited on this movie, and not a single one of them is a woman, which I think is atrocious considering Ghosted is supposed to be a freaking romcom where the lead actress is a freaking CIA agent. Like, really? Didn’t anyone think a feminine perspective might help flesh out the two-dimensional characters and 12-hour date?

Hollywood, you’re killing me.

Also, these writing duos coming together and only being able to create a film so incredibly… mid is just disappointing. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick wrote Deadpool and Deadpool 2—two cheeky, funny, and violent fan-favourite films. Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers wrote all three Tom Holland MCU Spider-Mans, which I think many will agree created an incredible arc for the well-beloved character. And Ghosted’s director, Dexter Fletcher, is responsible for the Oscar-nominated Elton John biopic Rocketman. I just… How did these five men come together and not deliver a spectacular, satirical, genre-bending romantic-action comedy?

Even the CASTING is crazy.

Ghosted has an Oscar-winning actor playing a villain, and I never felt intimidated by Adrian Brody’s performance. He was never unhinged; he didn’t get any creepy quirks or revered tactics and wasn’t allowed to play. This film is two hours long, and they spent more time establishing locations and stretching fight choreography than showing us how dangerous this man could be. Or, maybe they did try, and Adrian Brody decided this film wasn’t worth that kind of energy, and if that’s true… I hope the paycheck was worth wasting so much time on set.

Ana de Armas and Chris Evans in Ghosted on a bridge leaning into a kiss at dawn
Image Courtesy of AppleTV+

Chis Evans and Ana de Armas have good chemistry; they proved that three years ago when they were paired in Knives Out. They still have good chemistry in this film. However, it simultaneously felt like something was being held back like some extra spice had been wiped away. Their initial meet-cute at the farmers market played well for me until it, unfortunately, dragged on into a horticultural metaphor for the entire film’s premise, which led to a reluctant first date. It all quickly became Hallmark material that defied any logical timeline.

Are we really supposed to believe CHRIS EVANS needs an inhaler? And can’t beat Ana de Armas up the stairs? I mean, the scene and circumstance fit the characters’ characteristics and the film’s narrative. But, if we’re supposed to hang on to the belief that our leading man is an asthmatic farmer, I think you miscast Chris Evans. He’s freaking Captain America; he’s the Human Torch in Fantastic Four. Maybe 15 years ago, as Harvard Hottie in Nanny Diaries, I could have run with it, but not now. And, I mean, if we’re talking about disbelief, don’t even get me started on Ana de Armas’s blonde wig; I can’t—it’s too much—I’m filled with rage about it.

Chris Evans in Ghosted, sitting in his farm house with his phone in hand
Image Courtesy of AppleTV+

It’s honestly odd the number of times I felt the vibes shift in Ghosted; at one point, the dialogue was so cookie-cutter and cringe I thought the film had become a parody of itself. How these FOUR screenwriters planned the series of action-packed events that comprise this film, the beginning and the ending feel like bookends of romance on an entirely different film in the middle. If they had stripped down the action a bit and cut a half hour to 20 minutes from the runtime, I think Ghosted would feel more cohesive when floating from flirty banter to action to flirty bickering and so on.

I mean, we must admit, this film didn’t need to be two hours long, considering all the gags and bits that take more time to set up than was worth for the payoff. Was the series of bounty hunter cameos from Anthony Mackie, John Cho, and Sebastian Stan fun? I guess. Did it contribute to the rest of the film in a meaningful way? Barely. Could it have been cut entirely, and the plot would have still made sense? 100%. Ryan Reynold’s cameo in the climax? Same deal: 100% could have been cut entirely, and it would not have made an impact.

It’s one of those things that was probably really fun for the actors; they probably got a kick out of the material when they read it for the first time and had a great time filming on set. I also have no doubt that the writers and director thought it would be super well-received by MCU fans, but that’s what it is, fan service to a Monopoly franchise that, at this stage in the game, has seeped its roots into far too many projects. If they’d made that into a Funny or Die sketch or a bit on Jimmy Kimmel, people would eat it up but letting the MCU spill into the storyline of an individual plot like Ghosted taints the film with overexposed monoculturalism.

Written by Isobel Grieve

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