DIRECTED BY GRIFFIN DUNNE
STARRING: MATTHEW BRODERICK, MEG RYAN, KELLY PRESTON and TCHEKY KARYO
Sam (Matthew Broderick) loves Linda (Kelly Preston) and wants her back, for Linda is currently in a relationship with Anton (Tcheky Karyo) who serenades her like he once serenaded Maggie (Meg Ryan), who hates him now and seeks dire revenge. Sam meets Maggie and they become partners in Crime with different motives in similar direction – while Sam aims at destruction of the relationship, Maggie targets Anton and seeks his downfall. It’s a questionable plot, but it’s clear-cut with its intentions and we take a subtle guess upfront as to what’s going to happen in the end. There are no surprises.
The characters are established, but there’s absolutely no follow-up. Sam, we are told, is an astronomer and that he is for only as long as he sets up a telescope and projects the image on a wall. We witness voyeurism at an unforgivable high; it’s like ‘Rear Window’ got wilder with improv! Maggie, on the other hand, is a reckless ‘leather-jacket’ woman, adolescent with her impulses. Hers is the actual performance while Sam is pretty much Matthew Broderick with his quirks and goofs and bittersweet moments. The actors are conveniently exploited in this heinous (literally!) plot that attacks on the only person in the film with sense and a rationale – and brutally at that! Think of Tom Hansen getting back, slasher-style in a film titled ‘(the last 500) Days of Summer; B*tch’. No, I’m not exaggerating!
Once again, a clear reminder that romantic comedies are beyond earthly justice. The narrow-mindedness of the characters reflects in the plot like some crude sense of justification. And of course, we’re given the usual happy ending stuffed with references (it’s ‘Lassie’, in this case) in a brainwash effort to make one forget the past. But is it forgettable? Let me see – credit card scam, breaking-and-entering, a nearly-successful attempt at murder, sabotage, invasion of privacy? The list goes on. The lovebirds would have to correspond from their respective prisons if this film had a fair extrapolation.
But then that’s a bad ending in itself because ‘Addicted to Love’, clearly, is a bad film. Rotten, with a spray of perfume that fails to deceive.
DIRECTED BY JIM FIELD SMITH
STARRING: JAY BARUCHEL, ALICE EVE, KRYSTEN RITTER, T.J. MILLER, NATE TORRENCE, MIKE VOGEL, KIM SHAW, DEBRA JO RUPP, ADAM LeFEVRE, KYLE BORNHEIMER, HAYES McARTHUR and LINDSAY SLOANE
The quintessential ‘rags-courts-riches-but-not-without-second-thoughts’ love story, except the wealth is ‘hotness’ here. Ours is a gruesome ‘Aladdin’ paired with the petite princess Jasmine; ‘Beauty and the Beast’, as goes another suggestion. The initial viewpoint is that Molly McLeish (Alice Eve) can never be into Kirk Kettner (Jay Baruchel), which the film goes on (undeniably) to defy. Much like how Devon (Nate Torrence) remarks against Stainer’s (T.J. Miller) concept: If someone loves you, you’re a ‘ten’ in their eyes. We know we’re in for more than one revelation.
Again, it’s a cool concept that progresses steadily in a direction that made me sigh. The film, as a result, could never achieve the emotional depth it could have achieved, even for an R-rated, screwball comedy. The confrontation is too-little-too-late and right before the ‘airplane routine’ that too! This film fails to do what ‘Knocked-Up’ did to us in under ten minutes. It throws its fight to play ‘pretty’ instead.
But then, after a journey through enjoyable, even memorable comedy in overall insufficiency, ‘She’s Out of my League’ doesn’t do very well on its own scale of ten - simply because it's just about scales of ten! That's a clear five-point deduction for lack of heart. Plus one for the soundtrack. I'm not going to go any higher than six on ten - that's Stainer's score. Fitting, because the film almost entirely follows his perspective.