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She’s out of My League is the type of film that seems to suffer from a crisis of identity; is it a romantic comedy or an Apatow-esque combination of raunch and insight? Jay Baruchel’s first starring vehicle tries to have its cake and have sex with it too, and winds up splitting its resources to less effective result.
Frankly put, She’s out of My League is not funny. There is the scattered chuckle and a few moments worthy of a laugh but for the most part the narrative just hums along; never becoming outwardly awful nor achieving anything memorable. The saving grace of the film, which arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday is the chemistry between Jay Baruchel and Alice Eve, which at times is so strong it almost makes the movie worth seeing in spite of itself. If “League” had concentrated on the romantic efforts, I feel like something excellent could have sprung forth, but with its scattershot approach we have only the leads on which to lean.
Perhaps the most refreshing thing about “League” is that Eve’s Molly is actually a nice person. She is not manipulative, hot-but-bitchy or using our nerdy hero for her own purposes. Usually in a movie like this we have the girl-best friend who unbeknownst to our swooning protagonist holds a flame, and after the hottie eventually betrays him, he finds love has been beside him all along, etc, etc. We don’t have this here; there are now competing forces for Kirk’s affections and the film and the audience win because of it.
There is a lame ongoing gag where the main characters are rated; Kirk is a “5” and whatever number you receive, the laws of nature inhibit you from deviating more than 2 “points” in either direction. Enter Molly, a hard “10” and after leaving her cell phone at the airport where our geeky Romeo is employed she becomes somewhat smitten (feelings which he immediately returns) to the astonishment of his friends who can’t believe his luck. From there we get our normal rom-com story arch.
Also, like many movies of this ilk, the friends of the leads are jerks/bitches who more than once, accidentally or intentionally pull Kirk and Molly apart. I don’t understand this resurfacing convention, but it grows more distasteful with every film. Thankfully some of these characters undergo an epiphany so they do not remain totally repulsive characters. She’s out of My League is unimposing and sweet, and is not above a watch on a date night or rainy Sunday but it certainly nothing to rush out to see in theaters.
She’s Out of My League
Directed by Jim Field Smith
Written by Sean Anders and Jim Morris
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, Mike Vogel, T.J. Miller
Other Player Affinity Reviews
Julian thought: “Jay Baruchel plays a geek, like usual, but he’s also kind of charming in this little romantic comedy alongside Alice Eve, who plays a bombshell. Since you have both of these actors playing themselves, it should be boring right? Wrong: while this modern day attempt to recapture the magic of There’s Something About Mary is dated and doesn’t exactly work, it’s still entertaining and laugh-inducing. However, the film does suffer a little bit from a clichéd plot and jokes that get stale after awhile. “ Rating: 5/10
Steven thought: “There are moments when the sweet-natured interior of this story of “geek gets girl” shines through a bit and I speculate “Sex Drive” writers Sean Anders and John Morris intended that more than the finished product would lead us to believe. But it seems as though a producer stepped in and said, “this isn’t Judd Apatow enough,” so “League” gravitates between being a surprisingly likable romantic comedy and a direct-to-DVD stereotype. Star Alice Eve impresses, maybe because she’s written to be more than just boobs in a dress, even if the camera ogles her and every cast member is supposed to stare slack-jawed at her at some point in the film. But she manages to create a complexity about her even though her character’s motivation is “you like Kirk because he’s ‘safe,’” which I don’t think is enough to defy laws of a attraction, but somehow she makes it work. Baruchel is a likable schlub and so the two manage to pull off the romance elements of the film. It’s when they go back to their friends that the film goes back to being bad. The main source of problems for “League” is its director. Smith cancels out every good scene between Baruchel and Eve by putting in something that makes him seem completely negligent of the script, which is actually a good script on the whole. “League” succumbs to the “let’s do what we think is popular machine,” so like Baruchel’s Kirk, it gets a five on a scale of ten, though it could easily have been a seven or a three.” Rating: 5/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 5.3/10