Playing It Cool

"Good"

Playing It Cool Review


Movies don't get much more meta than this: a film about a screenwriter worried about writing a rom-com script because he's never been in love, even as he falls for someone. It's a snappy, smart script, but it's also completely overwritten, as every line feels like it's been carefully crafted to be absolutely hilarious. Thankfully, the cast adds some charm to the screen, and the genuinely witty script keeps the audience chuckling.

The screenwriter (Chris Evans) never has a name, nor does the woman (Michelle Monaghan) he meets at a charity event, then frets about because she has a boyfriend (Ioan Gruffudd). For help, he turns to his best friend Scott (Topher Grace) and their sardonic writer pals (Aubrey Plaza, Luke Wilson and Martin Starr), but each of them has his or her own issues. So our hero pursues this woman, who shares his cynical view of romance and enjoys hanging out with him even though falling in love is out of the question. And for a guy who has refused to let himself love anyone since his mother abandoned him when he was 8, maybe it's time he gives it a try.

Evans and Monaghan bring a lot of spark to their roles, including some real chemistry, although their characters are somewhat muddled by having them also appear in a continual stream of flashbacks, historical scenes, fantasies and stories told by anyone on-screen. Evans is also required to deliver a nonstop postmodern voiceover that adds yet another layer to the wackiness. All of these rather smug gimmicks are very well done but seem desperate to distract us from the fact that the film's plot is deliberately strung together from every romantic comedy ever made. And of course, that's precisely the point in a film that's constantly winking at us.

Director Justin Reardon packs the screen with wildly inventive visuals and allows the supporting cast to shamelessly add quirks to their characters in an attempt to steal every scene. At least Grace puts a nice spin on the standard gay best friend. So while it's consistently funny, it's so busy that the plot seems to drag, and the presence of so many hackneyed rom-com touches makes it feel oddly derivative. So the best stuff gets lost in the shuffle, including an intriguing observation about how you'll never find your soulmate if you can't face the truth about yourself. And how it always feels that everyone else finds love so much easier than you do.



Playing It Cool

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th September 2014

Production compaines: Wonderland Sound and Vision, Voltage Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Justin Reardon

Producer: , Mary Viola, Craig J. Flores

Starring: as Narrator, as Her, as Mallory, as Stuffy, as Lyle, as Ashley Tisdale, as Dick, as Scott, as Bryan, as Samson, Jaeden Lieberher as 6 Year Old Me

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.