DIR: Jim Field Smith • WRI: Sean Anders, John Morris • PRO: Eric L. Gold, David B. Householter, Jimmy Miller • DOP: Jim Denault • ED: Dan Schalk • DES: Clayton Hartley • CAST: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel
There’s a pattern at work here. Someone somewhere comes up with a neat little way of explaining something that seemed obvious to the rest of us – for example, why beautiful people tend not to go out with ugly people. This idea makes its way through society from conversation to website to glossy magazine before coming to its final resting place in a Hollywood romantic comedy, the elephants’ graveyard of ideas. This romantic comedy will have a hero who is the last person in the Western world to hear of this idea, so that the action can come to a complete stop about a third of the way through for it to be explained to him (or her) at length by one of his (or her) cynical, sassy, sarcastic friends. In She’s Out of My League our hero is Kirk (Jay Baruchel) and the idea is that if you rate a person’s attractiveness out of ten, that person will never go out with someone more than two points above or below them. You see Kirk, a ‘nice guy’ in a dead-end job – in other words a 5, has fallen for the beautiful, successful, charming Molly (Alice Eve), a 10.
Baruchel turned in a great little performance in Tropic Thunder and was one of Seth Rogan’s group of goofball friends in Knocked Up. Well here he’s come of age with a group of goofball friends of his own. Chief of which is T J Miller playing Stainer and clearly desperate to stake his claim as next in line to lead a rom-com and group of friends (although I preferred Nate Torrence as the more optimistic and less loud Devon). So far it’s all bog-standard, sub-Apatow rom-com stuff.
The film did make me laugh once or twice and there are some good ideas in there. I liked that Kirk is perfectly cool around Molly, until he realises he actually has a chance with her. It’s a pity that the whole thing mostly relies on tired comedy set pieces that are either misjudged (the final one in particular) or just fall flat. The real pity is that Baruchel and Eve are a likeable and believable couple. Their scenes together are the only times the movie comes to life and I think they could have carried it if it wasn’t for all the dead weight.
She’s Out of My League is released on 4th June 2010