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Country: United States
Starring: Alice Eve, Jay Baruchel, T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence, Krysten Ritter
Eye candy: Alice Eve
Director: Jim Field Smith
Run time: 104 minutes
DVD distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
Some of the greatest comedies of recent years have been made by director Judd Apatow and his favourite star, Seth Rogen. Some of the weakest comedies have been pale imitations of the Apatow-Rogen mold. She’s Out Of My League falls, sadly, into that category. This movie is essentially 40 Year Old Virgin Revisited, with Jay Baruchel playing the Steve Carrell character, T.J. Ritter playing the Seth Rogen character, and Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence and Krysten Ritter filling in the rest.
See, there’s this really lame, really nerdy guy (Baruchel). And for some reason, the hottest girl he’s ever seen (Alice Eve) likes him and asks him out. Apparently, actually, Alice Eve is the hottest human being anyone has ever seen. Every person who sees her in this movie becomes instantly incapable of speech. They stare at her, they fall over themselves and others, they walk into conveniently placed telephone poles. If this girl ever hid behind a mailbox and watched people go by, she would probably be stunned to find out that the real world is not, in fact, a neverending Three Stooges episode.
Of course, Baruchel’s buddies are flabergasted. And they tell him that he is fighting out of his weight class, studying above his reading level, and a bunch of other metaphors that tell him Alice Eve is too good for him. T.J. Ritter does his best to channel Seth Rogen, but the lines written for him aren’t nearly as funny. And he is a pale imitation of Seth Rogen. Jim Field Smith does his best to channel Judd Apatow, but he doesn’t quite understand what makes Apatow comedies work. There are a few things Apatow does that this movie does not. First, Apatow’s movies are funny. Second, each character makes sense. And third, there is actually some subtlety in Apatow’s work. Example:
In 40 Year Old Virgin, Steve Carrell takes the advice of his buddies and gets his chest waxed. Yes, the chest waxing is a little bit funny. But what makes the scene work is the dialogue and the reaction of the other actors. And when Steve Carrell gets up halfway through, and quits the whole process while he still looks like a “man-o-lantern”, it makes sense. It works. In fact, that whole scene is almost a parody of so many female-centred childbirth scenes in so many other films. In She’s Out of My League, Baruchel takes the advice of his buddies and shaves his scrotum. Well, actually, he gets his buddy to shave it for him. They are both uncomfortable. And…that’s it. Just shaving a scrotum is supposed to be funny enough for a laugh and a scene. It isn’t.
Anyway, of course Eve and Baruchel have a falling out because she’s all hot and he’s all…not. And then they come to their senses and the film ends with a running-through-an-airport scene. Really. And I got the sense that this running-through-the-airport scene wasn’t supposed to be a parody of the four thousand identical scenes that had come before in four thousand other movies. I really think it was written seriously, like “of course the movie ends with a run through an airport – don’t all romantic comedies do that?”
If you haven’t seen the movie, and I just gave away the ending, you might be irritated with me. You know, if you were planning to see it anyway, even though it’s bad. But when you do, you will realize that you clearly know this will happen anyway. I’m really not giving anything away here. Then again, I really hope you don’t watch this film. Rent 40 Year Old Virgin instead. She’s Out of My League comes out June 22nd from Paramount Home Entertainment.