In She's Out of My League, insecure Kirk (Jay Baruchel) and his rag tag group of friends have trouble believing it when beautiful Molly (Alice Eve) shows a romantic interest in him. Can he overcome his low self-esteem and get the girl of his dreams? Of course he can, because this is a romantic comedy.
Kirk works at the Pittsburgh International Airport along with his friends suave stud, proud idiot who incorrectly believes that he's a ladies' man, and feminine married man. I'm sure they had actual names, but these are the characters that I remember them as. The minor characters are much more enjoyable, especially Kirk's doofus brother Dylan. He's childish, immature, and bold, and he steals every scene that he's in. Kirk is nervous about taking Molly home to meet his family, and with a brother like that, who wouldn't be terrified?
They all impart him with their own unique advice. The idiot gives him bad advice, the feminine man gives him well-intentioned bad advice, and the stud gives him advice that would be well-suited for other studs, but not our shy, nerdy Kirk. It's hard not to like Kirk, because he's written to be such a relatable character, but there's nothing new about a likable loser that wants a girl that's out of his league.
You could make the argument that the filmmakers were so aware of their run-of-the-mill romantic comedy that they alluded to it in the title. I really think I'm onto something here. But I must give credit where credit is due. She's Out of My League is not the typical "rom com" that follows a nobody trying hard to win the affections of some girl far above him on the social ladder. Instead, Molly falls for Kirk shortly after they meet. The problem is that Kirk has trouble accepting this, partly because his friends are working so hard to convince him that it can't be true. They tell him that he's a five and she's a ten, and you just can't jump five points. This leads to Kirk worrying that Molly has some disastrous hidden flaw and hijinks ensue, etc. While the plot may not be as tired as some, the ideas that comprise it certainly are.
It's a shame that the movie falls into such obvious pitfalls, because there are definite moments of genius scattered throughout. But my guess is that someone going to a romantic comedy is expecting the standard formula. In that case, the movie's vulgarity may put them off. On the other hand, those looking for a fun comedy will probably appreciate the vulgar elements but become bored to tears at the cliché romance. The latter was my experience.
Still, Jay Baruchel alone makes She's Out of League hard to hate. His character might not be anything special, but he definitely is, and you really do love rooting for him. Not just to get the girl, but to be happy, and to let his inner ten come through. And in the end, I guess rooting for the hero is what romantic comedies are all about, so something was achieved here, but not much.
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