March 18, 2010

Average Guy, Above Average Movie

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“She’s way too good looking for you.” “Do you honestly think he’d be interested in you? He’s like a modern day Adonis!” “Wow you guys make such a cute couple.” Chances are, you’ve been involved in a conversation where one of these three sentences was used. And, if that’s the case, then inferring the premise of She’s Out of My League simply by its title shouldn’t be too difficult.

Kirk (Jay Baruchel) has accepted that he’s worth very little; he works a dead end job as a TSA Agent for the local airport, he’s average looking and his ex-girlfriend is more respected by his family than he is. Basically, the only thing he has going for him is his group of friends: Stainer (TJ Miller), Devon (Nate Torrence) and Jack (Mike Vogel). Then, in a twist of fate, Kirk meets Molly (Alice Eve). She’s a knockout beauty who happens to leave her phone at the security checkpoint Kirk is stationed at. Tasked with returning the phone to Molly, soon after their first meeting, Kirk is incredibly shocked when Molly asks him out on a date. From there you can assume where the story goes. He’s average, she’s not, and it’s a problem.

Written by Sean Anders and John Morris, the men behind Sex Drive and the upcoming Hot Tub Time Machine, She’s Out of My League is admittedly formulaic but enjoyable all the same. Much like they did with Sex Drive, Anders and Morris have crafted a film that isn’t about the destination so much as it is the journey. First time director Jim Field Smith does a more than competent job taking us on that journey, drawing impressive performances out of nearly everyone in the cast.

As Kirk, Baruchel offers up the same self-deprecating humor he did in Judd Apatow’s television show Undeclared and more recently in the Apatow film Knocked Up. But, here he adds an earnest charm into the equation that makes Kirk more endearing as the film’s lead. Miller is perfectly cast as Stainer, the wild party boy of the group who believes wholeheartedly that the numbers system cannot be violated. As Devon, the married member of the group, Torrence is a nice counterbalance to the jaded Stainer. He believes that life should be a like Disney Princess movie, with fairytale romances around every corner. The group is rounded out by Vogel as Jack, who unfortunately isn’t given much to do except teach Kirk how to groom his genitals.

The female leads of the film are equally well equipped for their roles. Krysten Ritter, who can be grating at times, is funny as Molly’s bitchy best friend Patty. But, it’s British import Eve who steals the show as the titular “she.” Eve’s American accent is less than perfect but she makes up for it with sheer charisma. Eve lights up the screen and makes Kirk’s shock even more palpable for the audience. Also, it doesn’t hurt that she is beyond gorgeous. The rest of the cast is filled with familiar faces like Debra Jo Rupp of That 70’s Show and Jessica St. Clair of Best Week Ever, who made good use of their limited screen time.

The relationship between Kirk and his friends makes She’s Out of My League more raunchy than the typical romantic comedy. The aforementioned grooming scene may irk some viewers but it’s actually quite funny. Kirk’s relationship with his family, while rather absurd, is absolutely hysterical. All that being said, this is a romantic comedy and the heart of She’s Out of My League is the relationship between Kirk and Molly. The seemingly mismatched pairing actually works on screen, and by the end you can’t help but root for them. In many ways, this is the perfect date movie because it has a little something for everyone.

3.5 Towers

Original Author: Wesley Ambrecht