March 11, 2010

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She’s Out of My League (R)
A regular schlub gets a hot girlfriend and can’t believe his luck in She’s Out of My League, a very middling example of the dude comedy.

Kirk (Jay Baruchel) works a go-nowhere job at the airport and has recently lost his bitchy girlfriend Marnie (Lindsay Sloane). While he’s working the security line one day, the smoking hot Molly (Alice Eve) comes through, causing male heads to turn and some of Kirk’s coworkers to goofus all over themselves trying to get another second with her. Kirk rescues her from an additional wanding by his supervisor and Molly sweetly thanks him. (This movie does not do much to help the image of the TSA and its shoe-searching security staff.) Later, Kirk finds her cell phone and Molly thanks him for returning that by inviting him to a party she’s planning the next day. And even though her friend Patty (Krysten Ritter) thinks she’s crazy, Molly begins dating Kirk, whose friends and family also can’t for the life of them understand why this successful and beautiful young woman wants anything to do with their dorky and stuck Kirk.

Though the focus of the movie is Kirk and Molly, the central relationship of the movie is really Kirk and his friends, played by T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel and Nat Torrence. These guys are brothers in dorkness, comrades in geekery. They aren’t as funny or sharp as the Judd Apatow gang, aren’t as entertainingly weird as the Will Ferrell group. This cluster of oddballs won’t have you grabbing your stomach as you spasm with laughter. But they have their moments — even low-rent stupidity can offer a nice break from life’s worries.

And Baruchel, who played supporting characters in Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder, also has his moments. He’s a little less goofy than the Seth Rogen school of characters and a little less funny. But he can pull off the nice guy shtick well enough.

There’s something very 1980s about this whole affair. You don’t feel like you’re watching a fresh modern comedy. This feels more like nostalgia, like something out of the Can’t Buy Me Love era. And as in those comedies, there is nothing groundbreaking here, just a couple of laughs. C+

Rated R for language and sexual content. Directed by Jim Field Smith and written by Sean Anders and John Morris, She’s Out of My League is an hour and 45 minutes long and is distributed in wide release by DreamWorks.