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My Super Ex-Girlfriend (7/10)

by Tony Medley

If ever there was a movie I was destined to hate, this is it; a 3rd Millennium comedy about a super hero. There’s a fine line between a good comedy and idiocy. If you see any movie with Will Ferrell or Owen Wilson or any of their buddies, you know well what happens when the line is crossed, and it’s not funny. It causes you to squirm and look at your watch. Not only did this film start out with two strikes against it, its star was Owen Wilson’s brother, Luke. Not an appealing prospect. Worse, it is directed by Ivan Reitman, whose list of unfunny attempts at comedy as long as my arm, including lots of Bill Murray debacles and the despicable “Animal House.”

But, wonder of wonders, he has taken a well-written script by Don Payne and produced a truly entertaining film. Against all odds, I enjoyed it, thanks in large part to a superb performance by Uma Thurman, and an un-Owen like performance by Luke Wilson, who is the glue that holds it together!

Jenny Johnson (Thurman) is also G-Girl, who has Superman-like powers. She falls head over heals for Matt Saunders (Wilson), and then proves insanely jealous of Hannah Lewis (a delightful Anna Faris). The bad guy is Professor Bedlam (and equally delightful Eddie Izzard), who was Jenny’s high school boyfriend but is now a supervillain. The two downsides of the film are Matt’s buddy, Vaughn Haige (Rainn Wilson), another in a long line of idiotic “friends” who have been appearing in films lately (see, for example, “You, Me, and Dupree with Luke’s brother) and Matt’s boss, Carla Dunkirk, (Wanda Sykes) a character written and played in a way that demeans and stereotypes African Americans. This is surprising because it is such a departure from Sykes’ standout performance in “Monster-in-Law” (2005), where she was the only positive in a bad film.

Thurman comes into her own in this film. She’s beautiful, in love, and vicious. She shows a surprising range. This woman can bring it.

Except for Wilson and Sykes (and it is not Sykes fault; she is doomed by a poorly written role with racist undertones), the cast is exceptional. Faris and Izzard compliment Thurman and Wilson beautifully. Professor Bedlam isn’t what he appears and Izzard plays both personalities perfectly. Faris also shows her range as she plays Hannah as a cute, beguiling girl next door who surpisingly seques into something else near the end of the film. Believe it or not, and I know it’s hard to believe, I recommend this film to anyone who goes to movies to be entertained and come out happy and content without feeling that they had their intellect insulted by frat pack, Will Ferrell-level humor.

July 21, 2006