Monday, March 15, 2010

Movie Review: She's Out of My League

She’s Out of My League ***
Directed By:
Jim Field Smith.
Written By: Sean Anders & John Morris.
Starring: Jay Baruchel (Kirk), Alice Eve (Molly), T.J. Miller (Stainer), Mike Vogel (Jack), Nate Torrence (Devon), Lindsay Sloane (Marnie), Kyle Bornheimer (Dylan), Jessica St. Clair (Debbie), Krysten Ritter (Patty), Debra Jo Rupp (Mrs. Kettner), Adam LeFevre (Mr. Kettner), Geoff Stults (Cam), Hayes MacArthur (Ron), Kim Shaw (Katie), Jasika Nicole (Wendy).

Although his name is nowhere on the movie, Judd Apatow’s influence can be felt in pretty much every scene in She’s Out of My League. This is another movie in the “romantic comedy for guys” subgenre that Apatow made popular with The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, and has persisted in the past few years with other titles like Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I Love You, Man to name but a few. The basic premise of these movies seem to be take a geeky looking guy, a gorgeous woman, and find a way to get them together. The movies follow the romantic comedy outline, but focus on the guy – and his juvenile friends - instead of the woman, and throw in some gross out gags. For me, the formula still works despite the fact that it has been a little too often in the past few years – they are at the very least, preferable to the mindless, unfunny romantic comedies Hollywood continually foists upon women, whose formula hasn’t changed in decades. I continue to look forward to as yet non-existent movie that uses this formula, but tells it for the point of view of the women involved. Either Hollywood contains no woman talented enough to come up with a movie like that, or far more likely, they prefer to make these movies for men, and mindless crap like Valentine’s Day for women.

In She’s Out of My League, Apatow regular (and Canadian!) Jay Baruchel plays Kirk. Kirk is a nice guy in his mid-20s working at the airport as one of those guys who has to run the wand over you if you set off the metal detectors. All his friends work with him – the cocky Stainer (TJ Miller), the good looking Jack (Mike Vogel) and the overweight and married Dylan (Kyle Bornheimer). One day Molly (Alice Eve), an absolutely gorgeous party planner, comes through the gate, but forgets her phone at security. When she calls it, and Kirk answers, she arranges to meet him later to pick it up. Thus starts an unlikely romance between the two of them – the geeky, scrawny but nice guy, with the funny, charming goddess. Neither his friends, or her (represented by the bitchy Patty, played to perfection by Krysten Ritter) can believe they are going out – but they are.

The key to a movie like this working is that you actually believe that these two people might get together. For a while, it appears that it really doesn’t seem likely – not only is Molly significantly more attractive that Kirk, but she also makes a HELL of a lot more money than he does. But, their scenes together actually work wonderfully well. Baruchel is nice, funny and charming throughout the movie, and the movie allows Molly – eventually anyway – to not just be a blonde bombshell, but a real person – a person that you may actually believe could fall for Kirk. She has been screwed over by the types of guys we, and Kirk, think she should be with (here represented by the chiseled Geoff Stults), and initially just wants someone safer. But when she lets her guard down, she actually quite likes him.

For me, the movie was hilarious pretty much from start to finish. Yes, as with any comedy, there are jokes that fall flat, and really, I didn’t need to see Baruchel shave his balls in a cheap knock off of the chest waxing scene from The 40 Year Old Virgin. Yes, the movie sometimes falters in scenes involving Kirk’s bitchy ex-girlfriend (Lindsay Sloane), or his obnoxious family. But overall, She’s Out of My League made me laugh more than any other comedy so far this year. Isn’t that all you can ask for from a comedy?

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed "She Out of My League." I found it to be both funny and entertaining. I plan to add it to my DVD collection when it is released.

    A.K. Williams
    Author, The Only Thing Better Than Good Is New."