She's Out of My League Review

Mar 12, 2010 | 11:36am EST

The new rom-com She’s Out of My League requires a pretty hefty suspension of belief asking us to believe that a goddess like Alice Eve would not only be attracted to the fidgety schlub played by Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder How to Train Your Dragon) but that she would aggressively pursue him tolerate his erratic and often bizarre behavior and endure the ceaseless taunts of his incredulous social circle while never exhibiting obvious symptoms of some brain-eating third-world disease. Moreover it asks us to believe that Baruchel can carry a film. And frankly that’s just too much to ask.

Insecure socially awkward Kirk’s (Baruchel) list of girl-repellant qualities reads like a recipe for permanent celibacy: He works a boring job never went to college lives with his parents possesses no visible muscle tone to speak of and is constantly ridiculed by his family and friends. Despite all this the charming smoking hot career girl Molly (Eve) is instantly smitten when she meets him while passing through airport security (he’s a TSA agent) and decides to ask him out. 

Thus begins the unlikely courtship of Kirk and Molly. As he winces and stammers through a series of awkward dates her attraction inexplicably grows but it never quite makes sense to anyone else and the film becomes a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Kirk’s friends — and Kirk himself for that matter — wonder aloud how such a phenomenon could occur as do we. Perhaps Molly is a fugitive terror suspect or belongs to a freaky sex cult or possesses an extra appendage that spews battery acid; or maybe Kirk is a really a Good Will Hunting-esque math genius or the inventor of the world’s first perpetual motion machine or a freakishly skilled lover who just needed the right girl to bring out his innate talents.

But there is no other shoe. Clearly director Jim Field Smith wants to avoid the lame plot devices list above variants of which have littered countless prior rom-coms. It’s a noble strategy and it might have worked too  if She’s Out of My League were funnier than it is. But the film never quite delivers the payoffs that its various comic scenarios promise yielding a few chuckles but rarely anything beyond that and Baruchel is never as witty or charming as the filmmakers would like us to believe. He's certainly a solid supporting player but he isn't quite ready for the big leagues yet.

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