Dave White
Just Friends Review

Dave's Rating:

2.5

… [Faris] is balls-out funny …

Who's in It: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Chris Klein

The Basics: Fat high-school nerd gets humiliated in front of girl he loves, 10 years later becomes hot music exec, returns home to get the girl. Plus some revenge.

What's the Deal? In Hollywood, all the studio execs and producers were the kids in high school who got the crap beaten out of them. Then they grew up, moved to Los Angeles, made tons of money, dated models and made somewhat funny comedies about how they should get to go back to their crappy hometowns on Christmas and make the girl who wouldn't give them the time of day fall stupid-in-love with them. That's this movie. In fact, the name of Ryan Reynolds' nerd-turned-stud character, Chris Brander, is a twist on the producer's name, Chris Bender.

True-Life Details: Reynolds' character goes from sweetly nice fat guy to wickedly shallow, angry hot guy, a personality change that pretty much reflects the true quality of life among beautiful people in the entertainment industry. And the secret reason why is that they're all very, very hungry for a cheeseburger they won't allow themselves to eat.

Why You Should See It Anyway: I hate to endorse any sort of "I'll Show Them All" fantasy that isn't Carrie, but Faris, as a Paris Hilton–Ashlee Simpson hybrid monster, is balls-out funny, maybe even genetically incapable of being unfunny, and steals every scene she's in. She's in a lot of them, so she alone makes this mediocre movie worth the ticket price.

The Tipping Point: Have you noticed how no one's allowed to make a warm-hearted Christmas movie now? Except for Elf, they're all about people hating each other and using the F-word, which Santa doesn't like. Unless it's Billy Bob Thornton as Santa.

All-4-One Abuse: You thought you'd never have to hear that "I Swear" song again, didn't you? Well, it's here in this movie. Twice. And both times, Reynolds is lip-syncing it in the prosthetic fatness and coming off more effeminate than nerdy, which is sort of an odd acting choice, but whatever.

Don't Think Too Hard: Or you'll frustrate yourself trying to piece together the timeline of plot points in this movie. You've got characters in suburban New Jersey going on dates to movies and heavy metal clubs on Christmas Eve and heading off to Christmas concerts at church way after the fact.

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