She's Out of My League

2010-06-28 12:18
She's Out of My League

What it's about:

Kirk, an average Joe, can’t believe his luck. Though he’s stuck in a seemingly dead-end job as an airport security agent, against all odds, Molly, a successful and outrageously gorgeous babe, falls for him. Kirk is stunned. So are his friends, his family and even his ex-girlfriend. Now, he has to figure out how to make the relationship work, even though he’d be the first to admit she’s could do much better.

What we thought:

An age old staple of comedy, both on TV and in film: the conceit of having a fairly ordinary looking, dorky guy winding up with an incredibly beautiful woman who is by conventional wisdom, well, out of his league, has been more ubiquitous than ever lately thanks to the massive recent successes of the male-targeted romantic comedies typically produced by Judd Apatow. Enter She's Out Of My League, which tackles this trend head-on.

It is perhaps fitting that it does so by dealing with it on its own terms as an under-achieving, guy-friendly romantic comedy rather than as a heady but ponderous art film. Out-of-his-league-osity, as we may as well call it, is after all, a convention of - and I do mean this in the very best possible way – junk cinema and trying to deal with it as anything but would do both it and the rom-coms that it appears in a great disservice.

She's Out Of My League may approach the familiar with a slightly fresh angle but it is clearly unafraid to embrace all the conventions, clichés and easy comforts of such a well trodden genre. As such, it does run the gamut between uninspired laziness and genuine crowd-pleasing likability, mixing groans with guffaws and occasionally even showing signs of subtle intelligence and tenderness. It may not be Annie Hall but it is a definite and noticeable improvement over Sex Drive and Hot Tub Time Machine, the two most notable entries by much of the same creative team.

The film simply feels better controlled and better written than its predecessors, but the real key to She's Out of My League's humble success is that it is simply immensely likable. Jay Baruchel, our dweeby male protagonist, not only plays a character who is basically an all-round nice guy, he endows the character with just enough blink-and-you'll-miss-it suave charm to give his relationship with his "Perfect 10" just the right touch of believability.

Alice Eve fares little worse as both the irresistible object of affection for every male on screen and, more importantly, a fairly well rounded (I can see the jokes coming already) and appealing character of her own.

The rest of the film is peopled by insane ex-girlfriends, goofy jock ex-boyfriends, eccentric family members and stock comedy sidekicks that are actually better drawn than usual, most especially T.J. Miller's character Stainer, a weird mix of Ryan Reynolds and Jon Heder in full Napoleon Dynamite mode.                   

It may occasionally appeal just a bit too quickly to the lowest common denominator with its obvious plot progressions and uninspired (but still funny) jokes but you can do far, far worse if what you're looking for is a bit of slight but perfectly enjoyable entertainment to brighten a cloudy day. And frankly, when you consider the state of the drab romantic comedies that are churned out by the Hollywood machine at its worst, She's Out Of My League can't help but seem more and more appealing.     

It might just be a sex humble comedy, though it's one that shows signs of subtle intelligence and provides lots of laughs.

PRESHEN GOVENDER 2010/06/29 4:42 PM
the story of my life
Rickey 2010/07/26 12:03 PM
Saw this over the weekend.. was suprisingly very pleasant to watch! Some scenes were seriously 'laugh out loud, I can't believe that just happened' scenes!
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