Saturday, July 31, 2010

"She's Out of My League" (2010)

Starring Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve and TJ Miller
Written by Sean Anders and John Morris
Directed by Jim Field Smith

Jay Baruchel stars as Kirk, a lovable loser type who one day meets the girl of his dreams and is shocked to discover that she's actually interested in him, as well.  Kirk meets Molly when she accidentally leaves her phone at a TSA checkpoint at an airport where Kirk works.  The two agree to meet when she returns in order for him to give her the phone, and as a thank you, she invites him to a hockey game.

As the two of them grow closer, Kirk's insecurities and lack of self confidence start to get the best of him.  His friends and family don't help, constantly telling him that Molly is, well, out of his league.  Ultimately, this will cause the relationship to fall apart entirely.  Will Kirk be able to grow up and decide that he is actually good enough for Molly? 

"She's Out of My League" is a pretty funny mixture of gross-out, ribald humor and charming romantic comedy.  It's not destined to become any great classic, but as purely middle-of-the-road entertainment, it can't really be faulted in any way.  It seems more like a stepping stone to better films for pretty much everyone involved, including Baruchel who, much like Michael Cera, gives the impression of being capable of so much more, but seems to stay safely within a certain range that has made him popular.  He's got fine timing, and is definitely capable of eliciting laughs from his own awkwardness.

Alice Eve does well, too, as the buxom blonde Baruchel falls for.  She's fun, and charming, and it's easy to see why Baruchel would both love her and question why.  It would've been easy for this girl to be unlikable, for us to wonder why Kirk would like such a girl beyond the fact that she's smokin' hot.  But Eve imbues Molly with a likable personality beyond just her looks.

Kirk's gaggle of oddball friends provide a lot of the laughs in the film as well, with lots of wild, hilarious statements.  TJ Miller as 'Stainer' is the sort of Stifler-replacement for the film, and does an admirable job.  The other two, Nate Torrence as Devon and Mike Vogel as Jack, aren't featured as heavily, but both come across as silly and likable.  They both have excellent advice to give Kirk, it's too bad that he doesn't take it often enough (but then, that's sort of the idea). 

The problem is that these characters simply aren't the sort of material that make classic comedy characters.  No one here is going to become the next John Blutarsky, Peter Venkman or even the next Steve Stifler.  They're all perfectly funny in their own right, but sort of nameless faceless characters, like the guy who opens for Jerry Seinfeld - he's funny, but he's no Seinfeld. 

"She's Out of My League" has lots of funny bits, but probably isn't the sort of thing that will gain lasting fame or a big following.  It's solid, if disposable, entertainment.