She’s Out of My League DVD/Movie Review
Title: She’s Out of My League (2010)
Starring: Jay baruchel, Alice Eve, TJ Miller
Reviewed By: S.I.
She’s Out of My League piles on as much heart and happily-ever after as feel-friendly romantic comedies, but with the same crude humour of the male-friendly ones. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the brains or deft harmony of raunchy comedy and romance to pull off what some of its predecessors have. Helmed by first-time British director Jim Field smith, the movie revolves around Kirk Kettner (Jay Baruchel), a regular guy who falls for the seemingly flawless molly McCleish (Alice Eve).
Kirk Kettener work for the TSA at the Pittsburgh International Airport. He’s awkward, shy and has settled for a life he hates. His friends Stainer (TJ Miller), Devon (Nate Torrence), and Jock (Mike Vogel) are either crude, oblivious, or offensively good-looking. He’s desperate to get back with his horrible ex Marine (Lindsay Sloanel), who, despite their doomed relationship, is inexplicably still very good friends with Kirk’s parents (Debra Jo Rupp and Adam LeFevre). His brother is an obnoxious success, and worse, Kirk is too terrified to strike out and follow his dreams of becoming a pilot. Enter Molly McMleish, a blonde knockout who turns Kirk’s safe, miserable world upside down. Suddenly, Kirk is taking her out on dates, meeting her parents, and much to his embarrassment, introducing her to his friend and family. Nobody in Kirk’s life can understand why a perfect 10 like Molly is interested in a five like Kirk.
At the heart of She’s Out of My League lies Jay Baruchel as the endearing Everyman he’s played since his short, but memorable stint on 2001’s cult TV show Undeclared. A veteran of Judd Apatow’s shows and movies, Baruchel’s wide-eyed shtick is getting slightly stale. Kirk is a pushover, which is very most of the secondary characters in his life can make him as quarter-life despair as he’ll let them get away with. His brother gangs up on him relentlessly, his parents treat him like a child, and his friends are the ones who come up with the rating system in the first place. They are the ones who determine that he’s a solid five and that he has no choice but to settle and date a woman of equal numerical value. Despite their level best to explain, how exactly these boneheads determine the numbers is still baffling – a point here for being in a band, a point there for niceness, a point deducted for not working out. You also can’t date anyone two or more points higher than you. It’s a bit of a sliding scale depending on how generous they feel on any given day. Even more hopelessly absurd than their rating system is the dating advice they dish out despite either being married for so long they’re no longer on the dating scene, or being perpetually single. It’s really amazing that none of the people in Kirk’s life drive Molly away.
Molly is a sweet girl who typically dates attractive meatheads, but has made an exception with Kirk. Alice Eve, like in her breakout role in 2006’s Starter , plays the protagonist’s dream girl and she doesn’t have to stretch far for the role. It’s easy to dismiss Molly as a beautiful airhead, but Molly does have some depth, which is unusual for female characters in these gross-out comedies.
For all its crude male bonding and sweetness that is reminiscent of movies like Knocked Up, She’s out of My League doesn’t match up. It never balances the extremes of raunchy antics with sweet romance – in fact, it’s pretty thin on both counts. You can see the movie’s lesson a mile away and by the end it all feels preachy and trite. It plays as much into male fantasies as many romantic comedies play into female ones. The hero might not be dying to get to the altar, but his niceness will get him the girl of his dreams. If a man is nice (whatever that means) it won’t matter if he’s a five. A perfect 10 woman will chase after him. Kirk’s friends even add points to his attractiveness because of his niceness. For some reason nice men somehow deserve perfect, beautiful women. A nice guy’s personality makes up for whatever else he might lack- ambition, looks, courage, or whatever it is you are supposed to find attractive. This doesn’t go the other way for woman. Women who are solid fives doesn’t deserve perfect 10s because they’re nice.
Niceness is a virtue that racks up points for men, not women She’s out of My League is a nice enough trip with couple of decent kids who might be tore apart by shallow misunderstanding. The blonds are get attractive and the brunettes are bitter shrews. The average nice boy get perfect 10s and the average nice girls… well, you never see those girl in She’s out of My League. There isn’t much substance, and even less style. It also ends at an airport, but the filmmakers hint at this clichéd ending long before the movie speeds up