Catch and Release (3/10)
by Tony Medley
Grant was responsible for the script for In Her Shoes (2005), a
very good chick flick. She’s done it again. This is a chick flick, all
right. The only problem is that all the chicks are guys. And therein
lies the rub. Grant just doesn’t create believable male characters.
These guys are all chicks who need a shave.
The plot is that the fiancé
of Gray (Jennifer Garner) has died, leaving her in the lurch at the
altar. He’s got three friends, Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), Dennis (Sam
Jaeger), and Sam (Kevin Smith). Sam is the chick who is basically
asexual, unattractive, full of quips. Dennis is the unrequited lover who
loves from afar. Fritz (whose teeth are so white the audience needs
sunglasses every time he smiles, which is all the time) is the guy for
whom Gray falls. You know she’s going to fall for him because she hates
him the first time we see them together (while he’s jumping another girl
he’s just met while Gray is hiding in the bathtub).
The repartee among them all
is nauseating. Poor Smith, who has to mouth all the poorly-conceived bon
mots Grant puts in Sam’s mouth. She has made Sam a fat, bearded, slob.
He dresses sloppy and is always eating. He is so unattractive there is
nothing remotely appealing about him, even though he has all the lines
that are intended to be funny. His character appears in virtually every
chick flick extant.
The script isn’t the only
thing that’s wrong here. A romantic comedy should be romantic, funny,
and not drag on and on and on. Strike three. There’s little chemistry
between Garner and Olyphant. Both apparently think that romantic acting
is limited to smiling a lot, and everything else will take care of
itself. This film proves that wrong in spades.
The actor in the film who
redeems himself admirably is Jaeger, who plays the unassertive Dennis
perfectly. He’s the only guy in the movie who is believable as a man,
regardless of how good-looking Olyphant is. These people are all
probably competent actors, but they are done in by the script. I can’t
imagine Brad Pitt or Clark Gable or Tony Randall uttering some of these
lines. The dialogue among these girlymen is so unmanly and unrealistic
it increases the cringe factor geometrically.
But not everything about this
film is bad. The cinematography takes advantage of the Boulder location
for the film to shoot some impressive scenery.
January 23, 2007