There are little pieces of hard candy out there that are all dolled up in bright and shiny plastic wrappers. You pop one into your mouth and it’s a tasty experience, but it doesn’t really move you until you bite into it and discover – WOW! It’s got a syrupy sweet center. If that piece of candy were a film, it would be Ghost Town.

This inviting comedy stars brilliant British funnyman Ricky Gervais (HBO’s “Extras”) as a lonely and people-hating NYC-based dentist. After dying – yes, dying – during a medical procedure, the good doc awakens to find that he can now see dead people. Lots of dead people.

Even crazier is that they all need help with some unfinished business regarding their left-behind acquaintances and loved ones. When one of those spirits (Greg Kinnear) asks for assistance with his widow (Téa Leoni), it’s up to the doctor to befriend her and bridge the gap between the living and the dead.

While Ghost Town isn’t the freshest idea on the market (can you say, The Sixth Sense or Just Like Heaven?), it’s executed surprisingly well. Leoni and Gervais are terrific together. They quip with one another with the same ease that professional athletes have when playing sports.

Each scene is filled with laughs but doesn’t overreach to achieve them. What may look like a bland, late-summer throwaway flick is actually one of the best and most winsome movies of 2008.

Grade: B+

Ghost Town is currently in theaters.