Name: She’s Out of My League
Release Date: 2010
Writers: Sean Anders, John Morris
Director: Jim Field Smith
Jay Baruchel: Kirk
Alice Eve: Molly
T.J. Miller: Stainer
Mike Vogel: Jack
Nate Torrence: Devon
Lindsay Sloane: Marnie
Kyle Bornheimer: Dylan
Jessica St. Clair: Debbie
Krysten Ritter: Patty
Debra Jo Rupp: Mrs. Kettner
Adam LeFevre: Mr. Kettner
Kim Shaw: Katie
Jasika Nicole: Wendy
Geoff Stults: Cam
Hayes MacArthur: Ron
Run-Time: 104 mins.
Hey, look! It’s the nerdy protagonist who falls head-over-heels for the the insanely beautiful blonde who seems utterly unattainable, but is just looking for love. There’s her spiky and snarky best friend. Have I mentioned that the hero’s family is a bunch of brutal boors who humiliate him and taught him all his life that he’ll amount to nothing? Of course, he has a bunch of slacker friends who give him the most dudish advice. But you just know that their hearts — developmentally retarded though they may be — are in the right places.
By rights, with that many rom-com tropes shoehorned into one movie, “She’s Out of My League,” should be one hot mess that plain just doesn’t work. But it does. Dude … it totally does.
Because newcomer director Smith and writers Anders and Morris have absorbed a decade’s worth of horrible movies, boiled them down to their best and most essential parts and precision-machined a piece of efficient entertainment that brings raunchy laughs at a steady pace for the boys even as it delivers the heartstrings-tugging love story that adds up to date-night gold.
Baruchel plays Kirk, an amiable doofus of an airport security guard who chances to meet Molly (Alice Eve) a stunningly successful party-planner with stop-traffic curves, when she forgets her iPhone at his security checkpoint in the Pittsburgh Airport.
Kirk’s fresh off a disastrous relationship with an utter harpie (Sloane) who’s been adopted by his absolutely hideous family (who bat for the cycle when it comes to every low-brow, blue-collar cliche). The Darwinian clan is anchored by Debra Jo Rupp, who reprises the solid-but-ditzy Mom role she played on “That ’70s Show.”
Against all odds — and of course you see this one coming — Molly falls for Kirk, who’s so darn nice that, when he’s mistaken for a waiter at a French restaurant where he and Molly have gone on their first date, he dutifully steps aside to let customers pass. And this moments after he tries to return a sweater to a female patron who’s inadvertently left the garment behind (And, yeah, they try to tip him).
Eve, an Oxford-educated actress who starred this year as the seemingly icy magazine journalist who becomes object of Adrien Grenier’s affections on the final season of “Entourage” is effervescent as Molly. She’s drop-dead gorgeous. But she loves hockey and lives and dies with the Pittsburgh Penguins. And that makes her an automatic crush object.
But, really, the film’s finest moments come in the stoner-airport monologues with Kirk and his friends (one such scene transpires as they ride in endless circles on an airport baggage carousel. Who among us hasn’t wanted to do that?). They’re friends to the end. So much so, in fact, that when Kirk decides to engage in man-scaping in some hard to reach places, it’s his equally doofy friend Devon (Torrence) who helps him lift and separate. And when Kirk asks “How is this not gay?” you know exactly what he’s talking about.
Baruchel brings a loose-limbed believability to Kirk, a guy who has the trouble believing the best in himself, even when the angel he’s been waiting for is more than ready to believe the best in him. His struggles to transcend his family and his circumstances is one that every young person passes through — even if they don’t end up with a model-beautiful girlfriend by the end credits.
But he’s wishing for the same thing we’re all wishing for — a happy ending. And this being a smartly played rom-com, he gets one.