One of the weirdest things about Ghost Dad (and there are a lot of weird things going on here), is that it is full of children who do not understand the importance of danger or death. Bill Cosby plays Elliott/Dad, who presumably dies in a bizarre taxi cab accident. When he realizes he’s dead, he goes home to break the news to his three children, who, by the way, also have a dead mother (not a ghost). The kids are understandably freaked out at first, but the fact that their last living parent is now dead never seems to sink in. The oldest kid, 17-year-old Diane (Kimberly Russell) is only briefly concerned with the prospect of now having to support her two younger siblings herself, and is mostly concerned with Dad embarrassing her in his ghost form. She’s pissed because all the kids at school will make fun of her, calling her “Casper’s kid.” Why aren’t these three children sobbing the entire movie because both of their parents are dead? Pretty weird.
Eventually Diane herself sort of dies, and in her spirit form refuses to go back into her body, because she thinks being a spirit will be more fun, I guess because she can sort of float around? Having shown no previous signs of wanting to die, it’s really weird that a 17-year-old girl would actively choose death over life. Of course, though, she eventually gets back in her body, but not before conveniently finding Dad’s body in the hospital, as it turns out he’s not dead, just in a coma. So, in the end, no one’s dead! (Except the kids’ mother).
Dad also lost his job in this whole process, due to being a ghost, right before a promotion that was seemingly going to solve all his problems. His unemployment is never resolved or even addressed again, but I guess it’s all okay, because, family first?
This film. This film. This film. There really isn’t much to say really except for the fact that is truly the most nonsensical film I feel I have ever seen. Simply Irresistible was over the top in absurdness but Ghost Dad really didn’t have that weird of a story, it was all in the execution. Yes, Bill Cosby dies and turns into a ghost (dad). I suppose the real story is him trying to fool people long enough until he gets his promotion that will solve the family’s money troubles. But if this was the real story, Ghost Dad really didn’t try very hard to do this. He spent more time dealing with little problems; the snooping neighbor, the kind of love interest in his life, and a physical to get life insurance? I really don’t want to go too into it cause I feel that this film is definitely worth a watch but the saddest part of this is the fact that it was directed by Sidney Poitier. This looks like this was the last film he directed and I’m very glad that’s true because it was very apparent no one had a clue of what they were doing. It’s funny in its absurdness though. Bill Cosby playing pretty much the same character he always does but it’s extremely difficult to tell what we as the audience was supposed to find funny.