Movie Review: 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost (2023)
Synopsis: After a failed joint business venture results in Anna Vasquez breaking things off with her fiancé, Elliot Barnes, and going to work for her dad as a real estate agent, she is given the task of staging and selling a long-vacant property as her first assignment. Anna quickly discovers the house is still occupied by Ruby Baker, a 1920s socialite who died in a car crash the night of her 25th birthday 100 years earlier. Ruby, who has been unable to crossover and join the man she secretly loved, is determined to keep Anna from selling her home and, even when she starts to warm to the idea, continues to complicate things. Meanwhile, Anna realizes she still has feelings for Elliott, who plans to move away to Boston.
Review: I was getting bored with watching reruns of Worst Cooks in America and convinced my wife to watch a movie with me instead. This one has been in my library for a couple of weeks because I thought it sounded interesting. As it turns out, I was right.
So, first of all, this is a Hallmark movie and as is often the case with those (and really any romantic comedy) some parts of it were a little predictable. For example, there was zero doubt Anna (Gonzalo) and Elliott (McNally) would get back together, despite plenty of effort spent trying to convince the viewer it was just too complicated of a relationship. That said, there was a lot to like about the movie.
I think the biggest one for me was the mystery surrounding Ruby (Arthur). There were a lot of questions about her character. For one, why didn't she cross over when she was obviously ready? Another, why was Anna the first person able to see her in 100 years? The latter was a lot more complicated than I thought since my first theory, Anna being a distant relative, wasn't the case. There was even a little bit of a mystery surrounding Ruby's former love, Charlie (Thomas Darya), and what he did following her death.
The subplot about Anna trying to sell the property was also a little more intriguing than expected. In addition to Ruby causing problems (both intentional and unintentional), Anna had to contend with her controlling father (Sotelo) and a competitive co-worker (Vaughn) who wanted to sell the house and earn the commission himself, even if it meant selling it to someone who intended on tearing it down. The twist at the end was admittedly unexpected.
Plus, even though the relationship between Anna and Elliott was, as I said, a bit predictable, I did find I liked it. As I mentioned about other movies in the past, it's refreshing when films focus on a long-time couple working through difficulties rather than just having the lead character dump her boyfriend/fiancé and quickly move on to the first handsome guy she meets.
My wife and I differed on opinion when it came to the ending. I thought it was a satisfying conclusion that seemed to tie up loose ends while still leaving some questions about whether Anna and Elliott really would live happily ever after (in other words, a realistic ending to any story about a relationship). She thought it was a bit too sad and depressing. I think, to be safe, you might want to keep some tissues handy.
Final Opinion: It's a good movie that had a mix of comedy and drama and a couple decent mysteries. I'd recommend it.
My Grade: A