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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Winning Comedy Scores High Marks

    She’s Out of My League

    Stars: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve

    Grade: B

    The best date movie of the year thus far stars Jay Baruchel. I never saw that one coming.

    Just like its main character, Kirk, an affable underachiever, “”She’s Out of My League”” is nothing spectacular. Its style will not be copied over subsequent years, and nothing about it really blows you away. But, just like Kirk, it has a quiet simplicity that grows on you, impressive in sincerity and abundant in charm.

    Marketed improperly as a raunchy, one-liner parade in the realm of “”Knocked Up,”” “”She’s Out of My League”” is much more honest and intimate than its trailers suggest. Much of that comes from writers Sean Anders and John Morris, who worked together on the underappreciated “”Sex Drive.”” The two have a strong concept of what authentic relationships are based on: understanding and communication. This allows the film to rise above the standard fare of romantic comedies and accurately portray the difficulties of living up to your partner’s perceived expectations.

    Baruchel’s previous film work may not suggest that he is a leading man, but he shows impressive depth in his endlessly conflicted attempts to hold on to Molly, the titular “”she.”” His performance makes Kirk into more than a sad-sack loser given the ultimate chance. Baruchel brings tremendous earnestness to the role, giving Molly a reason to care about him and the audience a reason to believe in him. It’s very reminiscent of his work on “”Undeclared”” — but nobody watched that.

    Baruchel and Eve have wonderful chemistry together. Their dialogue feels natural, and their romantic scenes are appropriately awkward. When Eve’s Molly asks Kirk if he is distracted by the appearance of her ex, Kirk’s response is both intimidated and deeply ashamed. The scenes in which the two are alone are the strongest of the film.

    The supporting cast features strong performances — notably TJ Miller and Krysten Ritter as the best friends — but there are too many characters. While each character has a defined purpose within the film’s plot, the movie feels long for a comedy, at 104 minutes. Director Jim Field Smith does his best to move the film along with some creative tracking shots and a brisk pace, but the abundance of backstories drags down the film.

    Despite its bloated character list, “”She’s Out of My League”” succeeds on the strength of its heart. It features several laugh-out-loud scenes, including an outrageous self-grooming scene, but it is much more genuine of a film than is being advertised. While I wouldn’t rate “”She’s Out of My League”” a hard 10, it’s still worth your time.

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