The romantic comedy is one that usually doesn’t deviate from the conventional formulas established, but it’s with the R-rating that a film in this vein really tries to think outside the box working the best in the films of Judd Apatow. Director Jim Field Smith takes a chance on the R-rated rom/com with the film She’s Out of My League and for all intents and purposes the film is solid. Taking a sweet plot and infusing it with just the right amount of humor works, but don’t expect much depth to the relationship and nothing unconventional in plot.
Spineless TSA agent Kirk (Jay Baruchel), recently dumped by his girlfriend, is taken by surprise when the gorgeous Molly (Alice Eve) asks him out on a date. Dubbed a “hard 10” by his friends, Kirk feels he’s too good for Molly especially compared to her pilot ex-boyfriend Cam (Geoff Stults) who still has feelings for her. As Kirk becomes more and more insecure it threatens his relationship and losing possibly the best thing he’s ever had.
The concept of a number system in relationships is known the world over but here it’s actually explored to hilarious effect. Kirk, a 5 according to his friends, falling for the beautiful Molly is a sweet romance that politely stabs at films and sitcoms that have lovable schlubs dating gorgeous women. Kirk’s group of friends constantly discuss the ways the rating system works, how less attractive men can only get super-gorgeous girls if they’re musicians, etc. It’s moments like this that attempt to transcend the stereotypical and cliché genre it’s lampooning, and had it gone on a little longer it could have elevated this to the level of the new romantic comedy that’s not afraid to tell it like it is. For an R-rated film there’s not a whole lot outside of language and a shot of Baruchel’s backside but the higher rating works to get in some more the risqué material like the extended comments about genital shaving that is some of the funniest in the film overall. Baruchel himself pulls off playing the loveable loser, something unexpected considering his past body of work as the sidekick. You root for him as he attempts to hold onto Molly and when he becomes insecure at the situation he never turns into a jerk but merely a scared guy who truly doesn’t feel he measures up. It’ll be interesting to see how Baruchel does in future roles because he’s got potential in this type of environment. Nate Torrence is also hilarious as the happily married Devon who comes off like a less-creepy Jack McBryer. His references to things like Disney movies when discussing relationships is sweet yet slightly off-kilter, the spouting’s of a man who definitely doesn’t get out much.
With all that it would have been great to see She’s Out of My League really take a chance and not fall back on convention, but unfortunately the majority of the movie aside from the first 40 minutes is typical romantic fluff. For a couple that’s supposedly only been dating a month or less, Kirk and Molly spend the majority of the movie arguing about how the one is insecure and the other is too perfect respectively. Oddly the scenes where the two are actually getting along and having a relationship develop is shown briefly or in montage never allowing the audience to see these two kids form a bond, instead it seems like they’re moving far too quickly and they have nothing in common. Alice Eve is beautiful, she wouldn’t be in this movie if she wasn’t, but she’s entirely flat mostly due to how underwritten her character is (a curse in movies like this). She’s smart and witty and there’s moments where she stands up and is a great guy’s girl, but those moments are few and far between and she never truly makes a break into a full-fledged person. Kirk’s friends Stainer (T.J. Miller) and Jack (Mike Vogel) are fun comic relief but overall set dressing, Miller getting a ridiculous subplot about a similar romance that never pays off. Stults is the most wasted, especially considering how hyped his part is in the movie. He starts off as the “perfect” boyfriend that Molly should be with, and there’s a moment of dialogue where he says he’s going to get her back, but he never does anything of the sort to sabotage the relationship and in the end disappears altogether. This makes me believe there’s a lot of footage that got excised from this film, especially with his character.
She’s Out of My League is a typical romance with a little more language than usual. A rental at best this is a great date movie if guys want some more fun than normal, and it is a guy’s bonding movie with a romance thrown in.