SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE (15): On General Release Friday 2nd June
The bloated romantic comedy genre gets another addition to its roster with She’s Out Of My League but while it raises the occasional smirk, it’s not funny or original enough to make anything other than the faintest of dents in your memory.
Kirk Kettner works as security guard at an airport with his friends Stainer (T.J. Miller), Devon (Nate Torrence) and Jack (Mike Vogel). After unsuccessfully trying to win back his ex-girlfriend Marney (Lindsay Sloane) to his buddies’ disdain, he resigns himself to a life of singledom. But a chance encounter with the stunning Molly (Alice Eve) at airport security sees him begin a romance that he’d never even dreamed of.
With his self-esteem in the red and his family and friends incredulous that someone as good looking as Molly (“a hard10”) could fall for someone like him (“a 5”), these doubts start to take their toll on their relationship but will they manage to overcome the points difference and make it work?
Writers Sean Anders and John Morris haven’t taxed their creative brains too much to come up with this one, which is a shame because after the promising but flawed Hot Tub Time Machine and the much underrated teen comedy Sex Drive, they clearly have some comedy writing talent.
To its credit, it doesn’t put any obviously artificial obstacles in the way of their relationship. While Kirk’s family are clearly rude scumbags, Molly’s jock ex-boyfriend is actually fairly normal and doesn’t attempt to bogwash Kirk at the earliest opportunity and Molly’s parents (Eve’s real-life parents Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan) are realistically frosty.
Kirk is a fairly likable loser and Jay Baruchel is no stranger to playing those (Knocked Up, Million Dollar Baby) but if the audience is to identify with him; he must have some kind of quality the girl of his dreams could find attractive and simply being a nice guy doesn’t really cut it. I’m a nice guy and I’ve never dated Naomi Campbell.
It’s frequently said that humour goes a long way to making up deficiencies in physical appearance, but many of the characters refer to Kirk as “funny” despite all evidence to the contrary. He’s a nice guy, but funny…no; funny looking perhaps, but not funny ha ha.
Most of the comedy comes from Kirk’s best friend Stainer who’s rude, crass and more than a match for Molly’s counterpart Patty (Krysten Ritter). The other two sidekicks are relegated to annoying (Devon, quoting lines from various Disney movies) and simply invisible (Jack, save for a scene in which he feels the need to display his pubic topiary).
It’s these moments of gross-out comedy that are sadly misplaced and often fall flat. Something About Mary this ain’t and there’s no need to swerve in that direction; I’m sure I could have gone the rest of my life without a scene where Nate Torrence shaves Jay Baruchel’s balls.
But despite its occasional comedy glitches, it’s a harmless comedy with a good if familiar message that will give hope to millions of geeks out there that stratospherically beautiful women are within their frail anaemic grasps. Worse things have happened.