Sunday, April 25, 2010

She's Out Of My League: A Review I Agree With Partly

'She's Out of My League'
Thomas Leupp

...Jay Baruchel proves he's not quite ready for the big leagues with this lackluster rom-com.

...She’s Out of My League requires a pretty hefty suspension of belief, asking us to believe that a goddess like Alice Eve would not only be attracted to the fidgety schlub played by Jay Baruchel... but that she would aggressively pursue him, tolerate his erratic and often bizarre behavior, and endure the ceaseless taunts of his incredulous social circle while never exhibiting obvious symptoms of some brain-eating third-world disease. Moreover, it asks us to believe that Baruchel can carry a film. And frankly, that’s just too much to ask.

Insecure, socially awkward Kirk’s (Baruchel) list of girl-repellant qualities reads like a recipe for permanent celibacy: He works a boring job, never went to college, lives with his parents, possesses no visible muscle tone to speak of, and is constantly ridiculed by his family and friends. Despite all this, the charming, smoking hot career girl Molly (Eve) is instantly smitten when she meets him while passing through airport security (he’s a TSA agent), and decides to ask him out.

Thus begins the unlikely courtship of Kirk and Molly. As he winces and stammers through a series of awkward dates, her attraction inexplicably grows, but it never quite makes sense to anyone else, and the film becomes a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Kirk’s friends — and Kirk himself, for that matter — wonder aloud how such a phenomenon could occur, as do we.


But there is no other shoe. Clearly, director Jim Field Smith wants to avoid the lame plot devices list above, variants of which have littered countless prior rom-coms. It’s a noble strategy, and it might have worked, too, if She’s Out of My League were funnier than it is. But the film never quite delivers the payoffs that its various comic scenarios promise, yielding a few chuckles but rarely anything beyond that, and Baruchel is never as witty or charming as the filmmakers would like us to believe. He's certainly a solid supporting player, but he isn't quite ready for the big leagues yet.

Me: Two points:

1. She's not immediately smitten with him. He over tme impresses her with his nice guy-ness and she wants to go out with him because, hurt by her cheating ex boy friend, he's "safe". Regardless, her attraction to him is entirely improbable and he's cringe inducing with his stammering, stuttering personal impotence.

2. The movie betrays its own premise by, when the credits roll, his having attained some form of pilot's license. It's nearly as big as the Farelly Brother's embodiment a very hefty girl's inner beauty in the svelte form of Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gimme' a break!

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