Jay Baruchel has emerged from the Judd Apatow “Undeclared” alumni to now front his own movie, like Jason Segel and Seth Rogen before him. Unfortunately, he chose SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE as his upstart vehicle and I think he should have held out for something with Apatow actually attached to it in some way, shape or form. As it stands, SOOML attempts to be similar to the films of the Apatow canon, but with one glaring shortcoming…it’s not funny. The R-rated comedy is making a comeback on the shoulders of Judd Apatow (40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN and KNOCKED UP) and Todd Phillips (OLD SCHOOL and THE HANGOVER), and with this film coming out with that R-rating, I thought they would try to go that same route. But what they have chosen is odd – a comedy that isn’t funny. Hmmm. Good luck with all that.
The premise seems simple. A perfect 10, Molly, (without the Bo Derek braids) played by the truly incredible Alice Eve, falls for the dorky airport security agent, Kirk, played by Baruchel. His friends and his family all reinforce his insecurities at this newfound relationship, as does most of society, and he struggles with it throughout, even though their dates seem sweet – the parts we get to see. They switch to musical montages too quickly, not letting us really know what these two have together. Kirk’s friends, led by Stainer ( T.J. Miller), reiterate the differences in their rankings – Molly as a 10, Kirk as a 5 maybe 6 if not for his Dodge Neon – to an obnoxious degree. Stainer is part of a Hall & Oates tribute band, which is good for a chuckle, but really just odd. Kirk’s other friend Devon (Nate Torrance) tries to play the sweet, awkward guy which should be played by Jack McBrayer, and brings up unfunny Disney references. And Kirk’s family is just a horrible collection of oblivious, rude jerks who have befriended Kirk’s ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. These are supposed to lead to funny situations. “Supposed to.”
Instead, we really only get one good laugh after an airplane altercation between Kirk and all his detractors, and the rest of the movie is a collection of awkward, unfunny attempts at humor and the only redeeming quality is Molly’s hotness and the fact that we still like Baruchel and always root for the sweet, dorky guy. The writer’s tried to go for cheap laughs with a bit about genital shaving, and a back and forth with Molly’s ex-boyfriend (Geoff Stults) about Kirk being gay, but even the cheap jokes fell flat, though male nudity is accounted for. What isn’t accounted for is the socio-economic difference between the two characters, which is still a factor, and while their insecurities come to a boil at one point, their reconciliation is contrived and too quick.
Baruchel has been involved in great movies before, in both ALMOST FAMOUS and MILLION DOLLAR BABY. And he knows how to bring the funny in bit parts in KNOCKED UP. His agent was doing pretty well up until this movie. He did, however, get some half-naked quality time with the gorgeous Alice Eve, so there are compensations. But still…come on, Jay.