She's Out of My League
Men as baggage. Yes I get the simile, dear. Stop smothering me!

Theatrical Release Date: 03/12/2010
Director: Jim Field Smith
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence, Lindsay Sloane, , Krysten Ritter, Kyle Bornheimer, Hayes MacArthur, Jessica St. Clair, Debra Jo Rupp, Adam LeFevre

Perhaps hoping to counter-program against the likes of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Shutter Island” comes “She’s Out of My League”. A romantic comedy about an average looking guy (Jay Baruchel) who winds up dating a far more than average looking woman (Alice Eve), this is sure to draw in those looking for a date movie or a comedy amongst all the CGI and drama that abounds in theaters right now.

Baruchel has been a bit player in a string of high profile comedies in the last few years – “Knocked Up“, “Tropic Thunder“, “Night at the Museum 2” – and will be heard as the voice of the main character in the upcoming 3D, CGI kids film “How to Train Your Dragon”. Here though, he gets top billing with his actual face on-screen and does an admirable job.

It’s easy to root for the underdog and that’s a role Baruchel has down. When the film begins, he has no self-confidence and is embarrassingly pitiful. His new relationship and the often back-handed support from his friends helps to instill some backbone into him and I’m sure you can imagine the kind of transformation we see in the character.

For her part, Eve definitely looks the part and manages to inject enough personality and spunk into the character to make her attractive on the inside as well. Perhaps most remarkable is that the audience isn’t as completely baffled at the notion of these two people hooking up as the premise sets it up to be. While the script isn’t going to win any awards (and the physical ‘deformity’ meant to bring her hotness down a peg is childish), Eve plays the character with a lot of warmth and compassion, qualities you can’t glean from dialogue or through an actress who isn’t trying hard enough.

The real stars of the show however are the supporting cast. Baruchel’s three best buds (T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrance), his family (Kyle Bornheimer, Jessica St. Clair, Debra Jo Rupp, Adam LeFevre), ex-girlfriend (Lindsay Sloane), her new boyfriend (Hayes MacArthur) and Eve’s best friend (Krysten Ritter) provide 100% of the comedy and allow for a completely unoriginal idea to sit comfortably in the audience’s stomach.

Their interactions are often vulgar and childish … which is something I can get behind. They bicker and argue, all like real people – well, maybe more like ‘real’ people you’d see on a daytime talk show. Still, the result is quick barbs and insults being thrown across the screen that not only elicit laughter but help us understand the environment Baruchel is navigating his hapless self through.

Of course, there are a few things that didn’t quite go over so well. While it seems there are a lot of people who enjoy the really over-the-top bodily fluid jokes popularized in films like “There’s Something About Mary”, I think those are just really easy ways out. In this film, instead of an alternative to hair gel, we get an awkward meeting of the girlfriend’s parents after Baruchel has gotten too excited too quickly and then another scene in which one of his friends helps him out with some all-too personal grooming. Yucks will be had by audiences I’m sure but for my taste, all I can say is ‘Yuck’.

But still, although this isn’t going to reside in the hall of comedic champions, it does fit the bill of a cute comedy that amiably entertains. Jay Baruchel’s leading man status isn’t quite affirmed here but the combination of characters gets “She’s Out of My League” a 3 out of 5. I’m not quite sure this will make its way onto my DVD shelf but I’d definitely give it another viewing if it pops onto the premium channels (this will not work nearly as well in a censored format).