Monday, March 15, 2010

Movie Review: She's Out of My League

Here's another review, only this time I DIDN'T EVEN WRITE IT. That's how lazy I am this Monday. I impress even myself sometimes.

Channeling Apatow
Few surprises in comedy’s bargain bin
Justin Senkbile

With director Jim Field Smith’s She’s Out of My League, we’re seeing more evidence of where Judd Apatow’s brand of middlebrow sex comedy has taken mainstream movies. It’s as crude and broad as the lowest of the genre, but with a sensitivity and sweetness that would’ve been hard to imagine before The 40 Year Old Virgin. It’s by no means as good as any of the Apatow films, but League is at times just as clever and refreshing.

Lowly airport security worker Kirk (Jay Baruchel) is living under particularly difficult, confidence-smashing circumstances. His parents adore his fickle ex, Marnie (Lindsay Sloane), and her new boyfriend; his thick-skulled older brother Dylan (Kyle Bornheimer) brutalizes him like an eight-year-old; and his group of friends, although they mean well, incessantly pelt him with abuses.

So it’s quite a surprise when the successful and attractive Molly (Alice Eve) reveals her crush on Kirk. For those around him, the universe seems to have shifted to a position where nothing makes sense. Things are finally turning around for Kirk, but life still isn’t getting any easier.

Mid twenties disappointments with time-tested teenage fantasies and crotch jokes is the recipe here, and it’s one that most of us have tasted at least a few times. The jokes, although often funny, are the same ones we’ve heard before, and the characters, mainly Kirk’s group of friends, are nothing new and are just as one-dimensional as usual. League is too full of cheap, easy laughs for one to really take seriously, which it seems to want us to do. Still, there is some measure of light touch here that makes this movie undeniably charming, and not an entirely tedious trudge through the usual motions.

Most will recognize Baruchel from his small role in Knocked Up. As our leading man, he snivels his way through this picture, like some irreparably emasculated version of your average Michael Cera character. His work is nothing particularly memorable, but he deserves credit for being the punching bag for the entire audience, playing out all of our worst, most embarrassing nightmares.

She’s Out of My League is just as cheesy, dumb and sloppy as its trailers suggest. What’s surprising is the amount of emotional honesty and the thought that writers Sean Anders and John Morris might be more interested in the feelings than the farts.

Grade: C+

Just for fun, here's the girl that they want us to believe in any world gets together with Jay Baruchel.
This actually reminds me of what I think is the unspoken Apatow-theme: Unattractive loser gets to nail a hot chick who lowers her standards because he's moderately charming. Let's face it, if you've seen Knocked Up, there is NO reason Katherine Heigl would stay with Seth Rogen. She shouldn't have, really. By the end, at his best, he's only slightly less of a loser and at no point exhibited any characteristic that showed him worthy of her. Same can be said in a number of cases. I think this is based on the fact that Apatow and Adam Sandler have gotten hot chicks despite being stoners who are unattractive. They fail to realize this is because they are enormously successful. I'm guessing if you put Sandler or Apatow as manager of a Blockbuster, actresses aren't slobbering over them. Just saying. Anyway, good review, Justin.

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