Two years after taking a break from his girlfriend (Sloane), geeky airport security guard Kirk (Baruchel) still pines for her. Then he meets the unspeakably hot Molly (Eve), who improbably takes an interest in him. But Kirk's buddies (Miller, Vogel and Torrence) and his parents (Rupp and LeFevre) wonder how this dork could land such a gorgeous, smart, successful girl. The truth might be that he's not such a loser after all. But how will he ever believe that?
The punchy self-confidence theme is merrily subverted within a Fockers-style comedy of embarrassment, which includes plenty of suggestive slapstick and wacky innuendo, plus sharply hilarious dialog. But at its heart this is actually a warm love story about a nerd who has always been told he was useless but discovers that he's really rather loveable.
Baruchel is terrific, winning us over with his puppy dog charm and quick sense of humour. And his chemistry with Eve develops nicely as her performance matches his with intelligence and just a hint of self-doubt. The supporting cast members also get the chance to shine, creating a terrific ensemble of colourful characters who are slightly more developed than most films like this.
Despite the silliness, these are grounded, believable people who happen to be very funny.
As the story continues, it's easy for us to identify with people who have accepted their ordinariness and allowed their dreams to drift into the background. The filmmakers never try to over-egg things with flashy direction, too-outrageous gags or pushy sentimentality, but the more time we spend with these people the more we like them and laugh at the things they say and do.
Refreshingly, the film continually undermines Hollywood stereotypes with a much more modern approach to gender roles and a refusal to fall back on the usual rom-com formula (although a sense of it is still here). For a gross-out comedy, it may be rather low-key, but that only makes it thoroughly endearing.
Run time: 104 mins
In Theaters: Friday 12th March 2010
Box Office USA: $28.7M
Box Office Worldwide: $49.8M
Distributed by: Paramount
Production compaines: DreamWorks SKG, Mosaic Media Group, Paramount Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
Fresh: 76 Rotten: 55
IMDB: 6.4 / 10
Director: Jim Field Smith
Producer: Eric Gold, David B. Householter, Jimmy Miller
Screenwriter: Sean Anders, John Morris
Starring: Alice Eve as Molly, Jay Baruchel as Kirk Kettner, Mike Vogel as Jack, Krysten Ritter as Patty, Debra Jo Rupp as Mrs. Kettner, Lindsay Sloane as Marnie, Kim Shaw as Katie (Molly’s Sister), Geoff Stults as Cam, T. J. Miller as Stainer, Nate Torrence as Devon, Kyle Bornheimer as Dylan, Jasika Nicole as Wendy
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