The dorky-guy-gets-hot-girl premise of “She’s Out Of My League” is simple yet completely overused, with Woody Allen even making an entire career out of it — deduct a point. Almost every funny moment in the film can be found in the trailer or in its commercials — deduct a point. There’s a concert scene featuring a Hall and Oates cover band — add a point.
You can use the same rating system used in the film to mathematically critique it, but the numbers still add up to an overall mediocre movie.
“She’s Out Of My League” is based around the unlikely relationship between Kirk (Jay Baruchel), a nerdy airport security guard, and Molly (Alice Eve), an unbelievably pretty party planner, which ignites after Kirk returns Molly’s lost cell phone to her. Even though any interaction between the two should have ended there, Molly winds up asking Kirk out, which prompts Kirk’s friends and family (and Molly’s too) to figure out what a “10” like Molly sees in a “5” like Kirk.
Baruchel has become a pro at playing the funny, nerdy guy in films like “Tropic Thunder” and “Knocked Up” and this film is no exception. As Kirk, he’s likeable and his awkwardness is endearing, but he’s so self-doubting that it can be irritating at times. Throughout the entire film—even while they’re a couple — Kirk doesn’t think he is good enough for Molly which is sort of absurd considering that he’s not as unattractive as the film makes him out to be. Relative unknown actress Alice Eve was perfectly cast as Molly, who is so beautiful and amiable that it’s not hard to believe that everyone she meets becomes smitten with her.
While the two leads do a decent enough job, it’s really the supporting cast that makes the film. T.J. Miller is a total scene-stealer as Kirk’s friend, Stainer, who considers himself to be a romance expert but is the complete opposite. Meanwhile, Nate Torrence is phenomenal as Kirk’s other friend, Devon. His character is sweet and refreshing, as he is really the only person who thinks Kirk is worthy of a girl like Molly.
From a concert featuring a Hall and Oates cover band to a male crotch shaving scene, it’s with these characters that the film actually gets funny, which will make you glad that you stayed with the film despite its slow start.
However, the same can’t be said for the rest of the cast. Lindsay Sloane is so completely over the top as Kirk’s ex-girlfriend, Marnie, that it’s almost painful to watch. Kirk and Marnie are so oddly mismatched that it’s actually more believable for Kirk to be with Molly. Scenes with Kirk’s family, particularly his older brother, have the potential to be really funny and memorable, but the characters are so underused and underdeveloped that they quickly become forgettable.
The biggest mistake with the film is it didn’t make the most out of Debra Jo Rupp, who plays Kirk’s mother. Rupp was comedic perfection as Kitty in “That 70s Show” and you can’t help but imagine how much better the film would have been if she was given more than three lines.
While there are some truly funny moments in “She’s Out Of My League” (and a couple of really, really funny moments), they are too far in between and the geek-gets-the-girl formula is becoming a little stale. Despite this, you can’t help but hope that, with its equal amount of romance and “American Pie”-esque gross-out humor, this so-so film will get better with multiple viewings.
Dana Cassidy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.