A movie like She's Out of My League comes along every few years: average-looking guy scores a major babe and has no idea why. His friends don't know why either, and somehow the fact that the woman may not be as shallow as they are never crosses their minds.
The average guy here is Jay Baruchel as Kirk, and his ravishing conquest is Molly, played by British stunner Alice Eve. When Molly leaves her phone at airport security and TSA officer Kirk bends over backward to return it to her, they begin an awkward, funny, cute, and at times horrifying courtship. The film is marketed as a romantic comedy between these two opposites, but it's also very much a buddy comedy that gives an unexpected amount of significance to the conversations male friends have about their love lives.
I was expecting to sit through a cliched gross-out comedy, but She's Out of My League surprised me. It's plenty raunchy, but it's very sweet too, and not just about the relationship. To hear why, just read more.
While I genuinely believe both guys and girls will enjoy the movie, that desire to please everyone hinders it a bit. Mercifully, there are enough good, benign gags to help balance out the gross-out scenes that seem forced in just to appease the male audience.
My next issue is that Baruchel is really quite adorable, so it almost feels like he's miscast at first. The undeserving loser his peers see surely can't be the cute, dark-haired guy I see. But it soon becomes clear: the reason why his friends and family are confused about Molly liking Kirk lies with them; they're the unsupportive antagonists. It's actually pretty realistic — Kirk's not some paunchy dope, he's just insecure from being told he's not good enough for someone amazing.
Besides appreciating the truth of the situation, there's one aspect I really loved: the gang of four guys. Kirk's besties Stainer, Devon, and Jack (T.J. Miller, Nate Torrence, and Mike Vogel) anchor the movie. Their dialogue crackles with chemistry, crass truths, and gut-busting humor.
In point of fact, it's his friends that rescue Kirk from drowning in bad self-esteem and losing his dream girl. There's no self-realization on Kirk's part; the confidence comes from his buddies, who reverse their negativity and instead start supporting him. It's really a testament to the guys' friendship and a welcome sentiment in a movie like this.
Some may dismiss She's Out of My League, but I liked it for the reason that Molly falls for Kirk: it made me laugh.
Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures