If the Farrelly Brothers and Judd Apatow somehow mated, the result of their union might be She's Out of My League. The latest rom-com to pair a goofy guy with a hot chick is sometimes hilarious, occasionally outrageous and terribly uneven. A winning turn by Tropic Thunder's Jay Baruchel goes a long way toward equalizing the movie's deficiencies, and that might be enough to lure forgiving comedy fans, particularly with so little to laugh at currently in theaters. Ticket sales may not reach blockbuster proportions, but should be robust.
Kirk Kettner (Baruchel) is a classic underachiever. He wants to be a pilot, but the closest he's come to achieving his dream is screening passengers as a TSA agent at Pittsburgh International Airport. That is where he meets Molly (Alice Eve), making a favorable impression on the gorgeous blonde events planner when he is the only agent who doesn't turn into a lecherous idiot in her presence. When she leaves her phone at security and he retrieves it, they have the opportunity to meet again. One thing leads to another and soon they’re dating, to the shock of their friends. Kirk's best pal Stainer (T.J. Miller) frankly dismisses his buddy's chances for love, saying that since Kirk is at best a five, while Molly is a "hard ten," the relationship math just does not add up.
She's Out of My League is on its surest footing in the romance department. Baruchel's looks may be unconventional but he is hardly the beast to Eve's beauty, and the actors share an easy chemistry together. The comedy is wobblier, partially because—from the mismatched couple to the barely socialized group of friends to the ghastly exes to the monstrous families—there is nothing new here. That is not necessarily a bad thing, except that screenwriters Sean Anders and John Morris throw seemingly every bit they came up with at the screen, regardless of whether or not it works. There are some inspired moments, such as an outlandish and lavishly crude scene in which Kirk ill-advisedly follows his womanizing friend’s advice to primp for Molly. But having Kirk's brother, Dylan (Kyle Bornheimer), ask Molly when they are introduced, "Are you a prostitute?" is certainly ridiculous, but it is not funny. And any film attempting an ejaculation joke has to live up to that gold standard There's Something About Mary—She's Out of My League has one and it doesn't, although Baruchel is game enough that he almost makes it work.
With only so-so writing, She's Out of My League is not as funny as it could be, but there are enough laughs to keep it entertaining. Baruchel and Eve are terrific and they receive excellent support from Miller, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence and Krysten Ritter as their friends. If nothing else, the film is a fabulous advertisement for Pittsburgh with scenes shot at the Warhol Museum, the Mellon Arena and PNC Park, among other places. It may not score that highly as a comedy, but as a tourist brochure it is first rate.
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence, T.J. Miller, Krysten Ritter, Lindsay Sloane and Kyle Bornheimer
Director: Jim Field Smith
Screenwriters: Sean Anders and John Morris
Producers: Eric Gold, David B. Householter and Jimmy Miller
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: R for language and sexual content.
Running time: 104 min.
Release date: March 12, 2010