Review: Rom-com 'Extra Ordinary' finds laughs in paranormal activity

Will Forte is a washed-up one-hit-wonder in ghostbusting Irish comedy

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

Ghosts cause all sorts of supernatural shenanigans in "Extra Ordinary," easily the best paranormal Irish romantic comedy you'll see this year. 

In their feature film debut, writer-directors Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman create a lively comic atmosphere in their distinctively Irish voices. Their sense of humor is sharp enough to wring laughs out of both everyday observations and the exploding bodies of possessed souls. 

Barry Ward and Maeve Higgins in "Extra Ordinary."

The wonderful Maeve Higgins (she's also credited as a writer) plays Rose Dooley, a driving instructor who is trying to leave her ties to the afterlife — she has a powerful connection to the dead — behind. 

She's roped back in by Martin Martin (Barry Ward), who is haunted by the jealous ghost of his ex-wife. 

Meanwhile, Will Forte shows up as a pompous, washed-up one-hit-wonder musician named Christian Winter who makes a literal deal with the devil to resurrect his faded career. His quest to sacrifice a virgin leads him to Martin's daughter, and Martin and Rose team up to stop him.

Ahern and Loughman have a dry, off-center comedic style, and having the cracked Forte on board shows their sensibilities are in the right place.

Meanwhile, Ward is perfect at selling the plot's many strange twists and turns: "Turns out taking a ghost into your body and puking up his ectoplasm while your daughter is under a Satanic levitation spell will take it out of you," he says at one point, drolly, like it's just another day at the office. 

"Extra Ordinary" is an extraordinarily funny tale about ghostbusting, lonely hearts and moving on. It'll possess you. 

'Extra Ordinary'


Rated R: for language, sexual content and some horror violence

Running time: 94 minutes

At Cinema Detroit