Saturday, March 20, 2010

She's Out of My League

"I figure...Anyone can lose one fight."
An unambitious "5" happens upon a date with a girl his friends say is a "perfect 10". They also say that going is a waste of his time, because he'll never be able to keep her coming back.

Kirk is a sweet, unambitious T.S.A. employee who spends his days engaging in witty banter with his T.S.A. friends and pining after the one girl who's ever really expressed any interest in him (even though that interest was mostly loathing). The way in which he unknowingly stumbles into a chance at a date with a beautiful, successful woman is as contrived as "boy-meets-girl" moments usually are in these affairs, but is at least short and sweet. What unfolds there after is an odd experience to say the least, one served with a side of wasted potential, but with Hall and Oates references for dessert.

She's Out of My League manages to do three basic things that most of it's genre can't seem to pull off with me: It created characters worth caring about, it showed them actually getting to know each other instead of meeting a claiming immediately that they're in love, and it gave them an (inevitable) conflict that actually related back to the point of the story- instead of just randomly having the her walk in on him somehow innocently in bed with another woman. For all this She's Out of My League I commend you. Unfortunately, outside of these things the movie throws up on itself in a way not unlike newborn babies: Sometimes funny, but never cute and rarely worth the price you pay.

We meet our guy, played by Jay Baruchel (whom I seem to enjoy more and more with each movie he does), who quickly proves to be both cute and funny. Then we meet our girl, played by Alice Eve, and she's charming and down to earth. And just when we, like the fools we are, begin to wonder if this may be another exception to what seems like the crappy rom-com rule, we are then bombarded with a stream of overtly recognisable jokes from the "Famous Sex Comedy Guide to Making High Schoolers Laugh" (available on for a whopping $2.79). They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, if so then There's Something About Mary should feel very flattered. I guess I should qualify this: There are plenty of hilarious moments in this movie outside of the ridiculous bathroom humor it resorts to, and in it's defense I will say the two scenes I'm really referring to are major moments, but mercifully short.

Outside of it's gutter mis-steps, this movie manages to be decently funny. I wasn't rolling in the aisle's, but that's a lot to ask for and I don't think letting week old soda on the back of my shirt be the bench mark of whether something is funny at all is very fair. The supporting cast is truly entertaining, (though the only way Kirk's family's place in the story would have been more obvious was if they'd been wearing signs that said: "Hate me, I'm a metaphor for Kirk's insecurities.") and there are only a few moments where the dialogue really seems to stumble. Again, these are all things that many of She's Out of My League's peers seem to struggle with, so it deserves recognition for making over these hurdles.

But even with all this praise, I don't even consider putting it on my list of exceptions for this genre. Maybe it's the detour down American Pie Road, maybe it's Alice Eve's odd tendency to look off in a random direction during her scene's, but I can't seem to muster a pure love for She's Out of My League, even with it's lovable couple and the fact that Kiss On My List appears multiple times through it's run time. Or, to use the vernacular: I say it's a hard Hard 6, low 7.

Reel Deal Recommends:

Tropic Thunder: Both Jay Baruchel and this movie are under-rated.

Alice Eve is a newcomer for me. IF you have a movie to recommend, let me know!

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