Capturing The Zeitgeist:
The big one: Gervais' first bona-fide leading role, as a dentist cursed with the ability, to coin a phrase, to see dead people.
Depending on your viewpoint, either an average comedy bolstered by Gervais' barbed delivery, or further proof that he was slumming it...but, through sheer stubborn loyalty to his unorthodox, uncommercial persona - Gervais layed down a marker that he'd only do Hollywood on his terms.
The Ironic Smirk:
Present and correct, but finding its most natural home for years as the reluctant ghost wrangler.