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My Super Ex-Girlfriend

2006-12-31 11:05

Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson) has never been much good at picking girlfriends. As his friend and workmate Hannah (Anna Faris) points out, he tends to go for “crazy” women, and his new girlfriend Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman) is no exception. She’s beautiful, smart and stylish but also needy, clingy and neurotic, a combination that his sex-obsessed best friend Vaughn (Rainn Wilson) calls the “trifecta”. But Jenny has a little secret that makes her different from his previous lovers - she is really a superhero named G-Girl. Though things go smoothly at first, Jenny soon becomes possessive and controlling and Matt decides to break it off. Needless to say she does not take it well, bringing new meaning to the phrase “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.


It’s been a bad year for the Wilson brothers. Not too long ago they were golden boys of Hollywood, but lately everything they touch turns to crud. You, Me and Dupree is easily Owen’s worst film, and Luke has followed suit with this flaccid and forgettable outing. He has always been the less talented, less charming brother, a fact that’s never been more apparent than now. Hell, any man that can make a movie starring Uma Thurman seem average doesn’t deserve to be on screen with her.

Then again, Luke had plenty of help in muddying the waters. The inexplicably limp scripting by Don Payne makes you wonder what happened to the zing that won him three Emmys for his work on The Simpsons. The timing of the humour seems to be permanently off kilter, as though the entire film is one step behind the pace. It’s like listening to someone tell a really good joke that you already know, but tell it badly. You know it should be funny, but you can’t raise more than a polite chuckle.

But what about Uma? She’s as elegant and effervescent as always, and she attacks the role with relish, but the material is beneath her talents. She’s clearly having a whale of a time playing dress-up in the movie’s fabulous costumes, some of which she co-designed with Costume Designer Laura Jean Shannon. She has always loved doing her own stunts and she gets plenty of opportunities here. Still, she may be having fun, but we aren’t.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend may not be that funny, but it is technically well executed. Veteran director Ivan Reitman has always specialised in big, dumb, high-concept films like Ghostbusters and Evolution and he has no trouble blending real action with CGI effects. Most of the film’s thrills come from the nifty action sequences, particularly those where G-Girl takes her revenge on Matt. She smashes up his apartment, puts his car into orbit and, in one especially memorable sequence, tosses a live shark through his window.

It’s just a pity Reitman doesn’t put as much verve into directing his cast. Wilson may be a no-hoper, and Thurman may be on her own mission, but Reitman wastes great talents like Anna Faris and Wanda Sykes on a series of mediocre scenes. Of course Don Payne deserves at least half of the “credit” for his turgid writing.

The really frustrating thing about My Super Ex-Girlfriend is not how bad it is, but how good it could have been. Hollywood is quickly becoming the USA’s most eco-conscious industry, recycling the same material several times a year. A premise with even a hint of originality is an increasingly rare treat, one that is ruined by such a lacklustre execution. In the end it comes across like Luke Wilson himself - good genes, talented siblings, but ultimately a big, fat disappointment.

- Alistair Fairweather
Matt dumps his new girlfriend Jenny for being too needy. Pity she's actually superhero. Can you say "Ouch"?

Fred 2006/10/10 1:56 PM
Well I liked it It was fun and funny, and I don't want to have to think about every movie I wartch.
niaz 2006/10/20 11:15 AM
i like it supper
niaz 2006/10/20 11:15 AM
i like it supper
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