Tuesday, March 16, 2010

While I was at the hospital...

I am writing this from the ER of a Houston hospital, where I am hanging out with my sister as she survives another blood pressure scare. She’s my best friend in this world, but I wish the bitch would take her blood pressure meds… and eat less garbage… and quit smoking… and stop losing her shit any time something goes wrong. She’s only 31, and I would love for her to stick around for a while. I am thankful that the negligence of the staff at this fine institution—they made us wait nearly two hours before we saw a doctor!—didn’t result in my sister having a stroke.

So, its only Monday, and my sister is in the hospital, I still have not scored the hippie lettuce, and my Muse is still MIA. Oh, and I have an infection in my mouth, possibly an abscessed tooth. I’ll need an emergency visit to the dentist for that. Thus far, Spring Break has been an epic fucking fail.

To pass the time, I decided to write a short review of a pretty good comedy I saw over the weekend:

If you’re in the mood for a good comedy, your choices are decidedly slim at the moment. The current crop of funny movies does not include the next Hangover or The 40-year old Virgin. Cop Out poses as a comedy, but nothing is funny about seeing the demise of Bruce Willis’ once great acting career. I nearly cried during the trailer, as he and Tracy Morgan ran through pathetic jokes, attempting to force a chemistry that simply wasn’t there. Valentine’s Day is still in theaters, and will induce a mild laugh or two, but even though it has considerable star power and enough storylines to fill four movies, it won't captivate you. It means well, but it’s ultimately a big mess, and some of the plot twists are beyond ridiculous. Also, Hot Tub Time Machine (I had an incredulous look on my face even as I typed those words) is on the horizon. I believe that it will be as silly as the title would suggest, and I am shocked that someone sold that screenplay. Don’t waste your money.

Last Friday, I spent my money on She’s Out of My League, the new comedy starring Jay Baruchel. Though it’s not as funny as it wants to be, it’s actually very enjoyable. It’s definitely a generic brand version of the inspired efforts that Judd Apatow has given us in recent years, as it provides weaker examples of the same territory that movies like Knocked Up and Virgin have tread upon. Some of the jokes succeed (the hilarious “grooming” scene) and some fall flat (the airport chase near the end), but director Jim Field Smith does a good job of combining elements of both a gross out sex comedy and a heart-warming romantic film. For a directorial debut, this is promising.

The film is true to its title, as Kirk, an average (or below average) Joe, played by Baruchel, finds himself miraculously involved in a relationship with a woman who is much too hot for him: Molly, played by Alice Eve. After a chance meeting at the airport where Kirk is employed, the two hit it off and eventually develop something special. Of course, things don’t just flow along smoothly, and this is where the hilarity, or at least mild amusement, ensues.

Kirk has to wrestle with his own insecurities, his abusive family, as well as wildly inconsistent advice from his friends, the very funny group of Stainer (T.J. Miller), Jack (Mike Vogel), and Devon (Nate Torrence), as he tries to make the most of a harrowing and awesome situation.

She’s Out of My League shines in its ability to capture the realities of dating in the real world. Like no other movie before it, this film portrays the difficulties of being a single guy who is not a “hard 10” but still has plenty to offer. Baruchel’s Kirk is gawky at times, but always sincere and loveable. Baruchel’s performance is fantastic, and carries what could have been a disappointing movie, utilizing an unassuming charm that I didn’t know was there, even though I enjoyed his roles in Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder.

The film falters in its inability to be truly original. The jokes are funny, or at least marginally funny, but they fall short of the genius of some of the recent classics. Even some of the better sequences feel a bit forced, as if the writers were trying to evoke the magic they’d seen in other films but just didn’t have the smarts to conjure. The best bits in the movie, the unfortunate accident at Molly’s apartment or the aforementioned “grooming” scene, call to mind scenes from other movies that did it better and funnier.

Ultimately, because of its charm, its very real portrayal of the perils of dating, and a refreshing performance by Baruchel, I highly recommend this movie. I couldn’t help looking to my right at Ms. Chuck and feeling Kirk’s pain. I am also dating a woman who is way out of my league, and I also identified with Kirk in that his character is beset with some of the same difficulties I face when I encounter beautiful members of the opposite sex. BBWs like to think they are the only remaining group that deals with a seemingly justified discrimination in society. Through my experience, I have learned that this is not true, and this film succeeds in lightly handling this issue in some ways.

She’s Out of My League is not a classic comedy by any means, but as you wait for the next iconic funny film (Get Him to the Greek perhaps?), this movie will give you some legitimate laughs and hopefully bridge that gap.

... thanks for bearing with another porn-free post. My sister finally got her pressure down to a manageable level, and she is now resting (hopefully) at home.

Tune in tomorrow for some sweet videos.

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