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|Shes Out of My League|
dir Jim Field Smith
scr Sean Anders, John Morris
prd Eric Gold, David B Householter, Jimmy Miller
with Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, TJ Miller, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence, Krysten Ritter, Lindsay Sloane, Geoff Stults, Debra Jo Rupp, Adam LeFevre, Kyle Bornheimer, Jessica St Clair
release US 12.Mar.10, UK 4.Jun.10
10/US DreamWorks 1h44
Beauty and the beast: Baruchel and Eve
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
For all its rude humour and chucklehead antics, this is actually a sweet and shy romantic comedy. It also boosts Jay Baruchel into leading-man status with a thoroughly charming performance.
Two years after taking a break from his girlfriend (Sloane), geeky airport security guard Kirk (Baruchel) still pines for her. Then he meets the unspeakably hot Molly (Eve), who improbably takes an interest in him. But Kirk's buddies (Miller, Vogel and Torrence) and his parents (Rupp and LeFevre) wonder how this dork could land such a gorgeous, smart, successful girl. The truth might be that he's not such a loser after all. But how will he ever believe that?
The punchy self-confidence theme is merrily subverted within a Fockers-style comedy of embarrassment, which includes plenty of suggestive slapstick and wacky innuendo, plus sharply hilarious dialog. But at its heart this is actually a warm love story about a nerd who has always been told he was useless but discovers that he's really rather loveable.
Baruchel is terrific, winning us over with his puppy dog charm and quick sense of humour. And his chemistry with Eve develops nicely as her performance matches his with intelligence and just a hint of self-doubt. The supporting cast members also get the chance to shine, creating a terrific ensemble of colourful characters who are slightly more developed than most films like this. Despite the silliness, these are grounded, believable people who happen to be very funny.
As the story continues, it's easy for us to identify with people who have accepted their ordinariness and allowed their dreams to drift into the background. The filmmakers never try to over-egg things with flashy direction, too-outrageous gags or pushy sentimentality, but the more time we spend with these people the more we like them and laugh at the things they say and do.
Refreshingly, the film continually undermines Hollywood stereotypes with a much more modern approach to gender roles and a refusal to fall back on the usual rom-com formula (although a sense of it is still here). For a gross-out comedy, it may be rather low-key, but that only makes it thoroughly endearing.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2010 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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