Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The League of Below Average Dorks

I shouldn't be bothered by the fact that She's Out Of My League is unrealistic. What movie is? Currently showing at the same multiplex were movies about a man who possesses a genetically engineered body so he can blend in with an alien race and a girl who falls down a rabbit hole and enters a world where animals talk. Even if the technology that made Avatar possible is someday created, the movie still wouldn't be realistic. Clothing and hairstyles aren't going to change in the next 150 years? Still, that didn't bother me at all. the reason is probably that Avatar is a better movie than She's Out Of My League.

League isn't the horrific piece of crap I thought it would be mainly because of some wildly funny scenes and a couple of supporting characters, especially T.J. Miller as the lead character's best friend, Stainer. When I first heard that the guy's name was Stainer I wanted to kick the writers in the face so the guy must have been very funny for me to now say he was the best thing in the movie. I wish T.J. Miller had played the lead character, in fact, but that duty fell to Jay Baruchel.

Baruchel plays Kirk Kettner. If you've seen the trailer, you know that Kirk is a TSA official and a passive/aggressive douchebag. In fact, if you've seen the trailer then I probably don't have to tell you any more about the plot. I had the whole thing plotted out before the opening credits rolled. It's not the kind of movie where you look for surprises in the plot. You see a movie like this for likable characters who get into funny situations. And speaking of the characters...

Kirk is a sad, pathetic creature when the movie starts. His great ambition is to get back with his ex, Marnie. She has a new boyfriend who's in the room when Kirk tries his attempt at reconciliation but doesn't care and is even friendly toward Kirk as Kirk is clearly no threat to him. Adding to Kirk's non stop humiliation is the fact that his parents let Marnie hang around at their house even though she broke their son's heart two years ago.

Kirk's life picks up a bit when he meets Molly (Alice Eve) who, according to the movie, is the hottest girl in the history of anything ever. Kirk makes a good impression when he stops a coworker from using his position at TSA to sexually harass Molly by giving her an intimate search when she's trying to board her flight. Kirk later finds her iPhone and she asks him out when he returns it to her though he doesn't fully realize that it was a date and not some friendly get-together. Yes, she is the one pursuing him. Why? She just had a bad breakup and he seems nice. That could explain the first date but after Kirk spends that date slouching and looking like he's about to piss his pants at any moment, there is no explanation. Other than being a decent soul, Kirk really has no qualities that would make a girl think he'd be a good boyfriend. Molly, on the other hand, is not only gorgeous but at the age of 25 has built with her friend one of the most successful event planning businesses in the city of Pittsburgh. Luckily for Kirk, Molly isn't a real person but rather a fantasy construct created by screenwriters. This means that not only will a girl like Molly go after a guy like Kirk but she will do so with an unshakable childlike zeal. She meets his crazy family which includes his crude, vulgar brother who asks to her face if she's a hooker and not only does she not run screaming but she actually agrees to accompany them on a trip to Branson, Missouri.

As I said, the supporting characters really save this movie from its leads. Stainer is great as is Kirk's brother Dylan (Kyle Bornheimer). I instantly hated Molly's friend and business partner Patty (Krysten Ritter) whom we meet getting indignant over not being able to use her cell phone on an airplane but she grew on me after a while. That's saying a lot considering the one exception I would ever put on my No Violence Against Women Rule would be that some crazy bitch who thinks the Constitution gives her the right to use a cell phone on a plane should be taken out and maimed. Another thing that elevates this film from the abyss is a series of really funny scenes including the time where Kirk decides to shave his genitals and discovers it's more difficult than it seems. There is one scene though where I'd suggest you go to the bathroom and not come back till it's over. You've probably seen the ad where Kirk comes in his pants but you haven't seen what happens after and trust me, you don't want to. It defined the word gross.

Sadly, the jokes weren't enough to make me recommend the film but it's a lot better than I thought it would be. If I used the standard 4 star rating system I'd probably give it 2 and a half. One more thing: this movie has very odd definitions of physical attractiveness. Kirk's ex, Marnie, is described as a troll. She's only unattractive in the world of movies though. This is Lindsay Sloane, the actress who played Marnie. Yep, quite a troll.


Dan Coyle said...

I actually left before it ended, but I saw most of this last night, and I'm in agreement with you. Though the nad-shaving scene was incredibly unfunny.

Stainer giving his all on those Hall and Oates songs was made of pure awesome. Best cover band joke since Saving Silverman.

Baruchel is an astonishingly unappealing leading man. I think part of that was the horrible material he had to work with, but sheesh. Alice Eve had to work overtime to make us think she'd put up with him being such a wet washcloth for so long.

Michael Clear said...

Yes, Stainer was good. I think he should have played the lead. I said before you really needed someone like him or Seth Rogen or Michael Cera. Better writing would have made Baruchel more believable but those actors could have done more with the script they had.