Who's In It: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence, Lindsay Sloane, Kyle Bornheimer, Jessica St. Clair, Krysten Ritter, Debra Jo Rupp, Adam LeFevre
The Basics: A skinny, regular guy working airport security, a man with no aspirations and no plans to be anything more than he is--what in movie terms would be considered essentially a loser--finds himself courted by a stunning blonde woman. Apparently this happens with enough regularity that it warrants an entire genre of
science fiction comedy features to explore all the nuances. It's almost as if these are training films for young heterosexual women, guiding them to adjust their expectations and have sex-pity on guys who don't measure up. Anyway, if you can accept this movie's premise (a Knocked Up for 98 lb. weaklings) then you should also be ready to embrace the eventual movie about the plain girl who marries the male model. They'll probably give that one the green light sometime in 2057.
What's The Deal: Now that most of my objections are out of the way, I can tell you that it's still pretty dang funny. It's not insightful or original about anything more than a generic self-esteem boost for goony dudes who dream of hot babes, but it's never not doing cartwheels to make you laugh. And that's because groups of man-boys acting like idiots is, more often than not (and like it or not), hilarious. And the gross-out set piece everyone will be talking about is a satisfactory raising of the ante from There's Something About Mary's "hair gel", with a pie and Superbad's menstruation panic. Just sit back and pretend that a poised, successful, intelligent woman would fall for a sad-sack klutz who can barely stammer out a completely formed sentence and whose chief winning attribute is his decency and the rest will fall into predictable place.
Surprises: The foxy female character, played by British actress Alice Eve, comes off as more than simply a boob delivery system. She's too good to be true, of course, and all the funny lines come from her smart-ass best friend, but at least she's given more thoughtful stuff do in the script than just react and think every thing Jay Baruchel does is adorable. That's the good surprise. The bad surprise is the subplot about Baruchel's unpleasant ex-girlfriend who can only be tamed with slapstick violence. Kinda wish that had been scripted with about a hundred percent less misogyny.
Best Part: The R-rating. Thanks, The Hangover. You have made it possible for raunchy comedies to thrive in a tedious PG-13 world. That also means this one's much funnier than the trailer can show you, so don't base your decision to see it on that.
Fans of Misery-Soaked Realism, Look Elsewhere: Obviously this movie tells multiple lies on many levels. It lies about what women want, it lies about physical beauty being the sole basis on which people make relationship choices, it lies about all of its sweeping generalizations concerning human sexuality. But if you wanted something deeper then you'd be stuck with good but total suicide-watch movies like 1987's Belgian Bukowski bummer, Love is a Dog From Hell or 1995's Heavy, with Pruitt Taylor Vince as the overweight diner cook in love with Liv Tyler.