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She’s Out of My League (A Movie Review)


Starring Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, T.J. Miller, Krysten Ritter, Nate Torrence, Mike Vogel, Lindsay Sloane, Geoff Stults, Debra Jo Rupp, Kim Shaw, Jasika Nicole, Brenna Roth, Trevor Eve, Sharon Maughan, Kyle Bornheimer, Adam LeFevre and Hayes MacArthur.

Screenplay by Sean Anders and John Morris.

Directed by Jim Field Smith.

Distributed by Paramount Pictures. 104 minutes. Rated R.

It must be nice to live in the world of Judd Apatow and his co-horts.

In this world, drop-dead gorgeous women are not just interested in short, quirky, funny, nerdy guys, but they are more than willing throw themselves at the guys. They are eager – after a mere short conversation – to offer their love, their bodies, free sports tickets and massive amounts of alcohol to guys who probably had to take their cousin to prom, if they went at all.

Take for example, the heroine in the new comedy She’s Out of My League. (Which is not an Apatow film, but it is certainly inspired by his work and features people who have worked with him behind and in front of the camera.)

She asks the guy out. She is the one to do the first kiss. She is willing to meet his crazy family and ex-girlfriend within a couple of weeks of their dating. She blows off her hunky ex for him. She agrees to take a family trip with them – to Branson, Missouri, of all God-forsaken places – long before they have consecrated their relationship. Hell, she does everything but mount the guy. Oh yeah, well actually she does that too. However, she does not quite go so far as seduce him and ask him to marry her.

And what does the guy do as he is being aggressively courted by this model-beautiful, rich, smart professional woman? He is so insecure that a woman like that could never like him that he doesn’t recognize that she is practically raping him. Believe me, I have missed signs from women in the past, but you would have to be blind to miss the great lengths this woman is going to in order to show her interest.

As a critic, I know it’s a kind of silly movie, not exactly well made and with some really stupid plot turns and clichéd, dumb supporting characters.

As a man, I have to admit the guy was right all along. She is out of his league – way, way out. He would have no shot with a woman like this in real life. (Unless he was rich or famous, neither attributes this guy has.) This simple fact makes it very hard to believe the action on screen.

But, I have to admit, while I didn’t believe the central relationship for a second, I kind of liked the movie for what it was – wish-fulfillment for nerdy guys. (Yeah, I guess I do fit into that category.)

She’s Out of My League is a fantasy – as unbelievable in its own way as Avatar was. It’s kind of a fun fantasy, though, so the audience is willing to cut it some slack.

The movie stars former Apatow star Jay Baruchel (TV’s Undeclared, Knocked Up) – who is suddenly the busiest man in the movies this side of Liam Neeson with this starring vehicle, the lead voice role in How To Train Your Dragon and the upcoming Disney fantasy The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Baruchel plays Kirk, a guy who works at a job he hates as an airport security officer (he’d rather be flying) and is obsessing about winning back his ex-girlfriend, who he also kind of hates. (She and her new boyfriend have been embraced by Kirk’s dysfunctional family – it seems they like her more than him.)

One day he finds the cell phone of a gorgeous party planner named Molly (Alice Eve). To thank him for bringing it back to her, she invites him to an exclusive party, takes him for a hockey game and buys him dinner.

No one – not her friends, his friends, her family, his family, their exes, complete strangers on the street or the audience watching this in the movie theater – quite understands what this beautiful, confident career woman sees in this shy, awkward loser.

But again, if you are going for realism, go see a documentary. She’s Out of My League is a dumb-but-funny wish fulfillment fantasy for nerdy guys everywhere, but in its low-key way it actually is a lot more appealing than it would seem on the surface.

What do you know? The film is apparently just like that character that inspired it.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2010 All rights reserved. Posted: April 13, 2010.


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