22 July 2010

She's Out of My League

She's Out of My League
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, Krystan Ritter, T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel, Lindsay Sloane Writer(s): Sam Anders, John Morris
Director: Jim Field Smith

Release: 12 March 2010

DreamWorks, 104 mins., Rated R

Plot: Dweeb Kirk goes on a date with a extremely hot girl named Molly, and becomes so paranoid over how dweeby he is he basically sabotages the relationship until he comes to his senses and realizes he really wants the relationship to work regardless of their diverse hotness levels.

It takes about 30 minutes for She's Out of My League to find its footing and become a rather entertaining film. Before that point, though, I was in a bit of agony over how obnoxious basically everything was. But hey - the flick's 1 hr and 44 minutes, so 30 minutes out of all that isn't too bad, right? The overall experience was superior than, say, Miss March (2009). I think although the movie may not be all that great or good, I like the script and I like what it was trying to be, even though it hit a few too many cliched plot points. Let me explain:

The main point of the movie is that this socially awkward guy in his twenties - a dude who isn't sporting a six pack or a bunch of Schwarzenegger-like muscles - somehow grabs the attention of a beautiful girl who qualifies as a solid '10' in the hotness scale. Alright, fine - decent, sorta condescending set-up that's sure to have some comedic gold. The aspect of this storyline I liked the most was, in fact, Molly. Heading in, I was expecting a stuck-up bitchy blond who was the encapsulation of wickedness, and our protagonist would deal with it because, hey, she's hot and she's giving him a second of her time. Turns out, Molly is a pretty reasonably fleshed out and dimensional character. She goes out with Kirk because she actually, genuinely likes him (dunno why, but she does). Although her initial reason for going out with him was that he was, in a way, 'safe' and not a jackass like her cheating ex, by the halfway point of the film, you can tell she's into the guy, and that's she serious about it. It's Kirk who messes everything up; it's Kirk who says all the dumb things and acts like a drama Queen. So what I like about the script - they wrote a mostly intelligent, dimensional character as the love interest. For the most part, she was honest and straightforward - it was Kirk who was passive aggressive (staying in tune with his socially awkwardness, I guess).

Other workable elements of the script: Kirk's really messed up family (including That 70's Show's favorite TV mum Kitty, who is more hyper in her scenes than her entire run on that show), Kirk's friends who actually give him a not-half-bad suggestion every once and a while, and Molly's BFF Patty.

What doesn't work with this movie is quite simple: Jay Baruchel and his character of Kirk. 1) I propose a drinking game - go out and rent the DVD, watch it once, and then the second time, buy a bunch of drinks and take a shot each and every time Jay says either "uh" or "um." Seriously, Jay's socially awkward character makes what Michael Cera has accomplished Oscar worthy. I mean no real bad will against Jay; there are scenes where he's a really good actor, but his nasally "um"ness creeps up far too often to make his work enjoyable. 2) In what reality does it make sense that Kirk would throw a chance to sleep with Molly? They're literally right in the seconds before doing it, and she's more than willing to shag the guy, but he freakin' loses it - he goes on a tangent about how he's a "5" and she's a "10" and they can't possibly work out. This is the epitome of a horrible plot contrivance. There was nothing that set this up. It was established that Molly and Kirk went on something like six or eight dates before their second attempt at shagging, and there was no drama. Zero. Zippo. No 'nah, I dunno if I really truly like you.' The relationship was working, and she was into him, and he stupidly without any warrant does what he does? Makes zero sense, and was just irritating as hell. So in a nutshell: not complainin' about the not sleeping with Molly part, just complainin' how so unnecessary and illogical that event came about. 3) Something I did like - in one of two moments where Kirk actually stands up for himself, he walks right up to Molly and refuses to leave before he says what he needs to say. Well damn, that's one of the best parts of the script, and the first sign that perhaps the screenwriters had some overall purpose or point to this story.

Sorry, my apologies. It really, really sounds like I hate this movie, which I really don't. I have problems with certain aspects of the script and actors - aspects that have been used repeatedly in comedies, and I just feel that it should be retired. But the overall movie - it's alright. The obnoxious aspect I mentioned in the opening paragraph: that was primarily Kirk and his usage of "um" as a conversation piece and the utter stupidity of his dialogue, and how a good amount of the jokes just fell flat on their face. But as I said, the flick got better. There were some genuinely humorous parts, and moments where the movie was pretty fun to watch. Errors were made, and I guess I'm just stuck on those points more-so than acknowledging the films finer elements.

A co-worker of mine absolutely had a blast with She's Out of My League; my girlfriend mostly shared the same opinion of the film as me. So, obviously, opinions of the film vary. Overall, I would recommend a rental, based on Kirk's cool assortment of friends and his Arrested Development-like family situation.

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