She's Out Of My League - Cinema Review

'both leads are charming and Baruchel's comic tendencies are perfectly reigned in by Eve's straight play, but this just served to make the film more frustrating for its failings'

Around an hour in to She's Out Of My League, despite all expectations to the contrary, I was enjoying myself. The film had gone to great pains to characterise Kirk (Jay Baruchel) and Molly (Alice Eve) as a mismatched couple who fall for one another despite their gulf in the looks department and the likable leads were keeping me entertained. Elsewhere, director Jim Field Smith had also gone to great lengths to transform Kirk's friends (T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel and Nate Torrence) from being stereotypically annoying to bizarrely likable and Krysten Ritter had been successfully installed as the kooky best friend, a role which she's done so often, she should apply for a patent.

Then the film makes a quite frankly unjustifiable choice. In what had been, up till this point, a slightly-more bawdy than usual rom-com, Smith decides to take us down a much darker and more twisted path altogether, directly into the none-too-pleasant bowels of the sex comedy.

The change happens in a single scene involving Molly and Kirk having a romantic moment on the couch just before her old-fashioned Father (a criminally underused Trevor Eve) walks in. The scene's handled with all the tact and intelligence of an American Pie sequel and things soon go downhill, with that encounter defining large parts of what remains whilst all the warmth that had been carefully built up quickly evaporates. The jokes dry up, tenderness is replaced with wanton sex drive, set pieces involving bodily organs are formulated. In all this, Nate Torrence describing Mike Vogel as 'like Yoda... sex Yoda' was the only time I laughed in the second half, contrasted with a first that mixed daft, sweary, insults ('go shit in your hand') with Apatow-esque extended rants to generally smirk inducing effect.

This completely bonkers direction change is a real shame, wasting the great moments that went before it and leaving She's Out Of My League with nowhere to go apart from, that is, to lurch to a clumsy double conflict/resolution conclusion which doesn't feel earned and an hour earlier wouldn't have seemed necessary for the plot to function. Baruchel and Eve retained my attention despite this: both are charming and Baruchel's comic tendencies are perfectly reigned in by Eve's straight play, but this just served to make the film more frustrating for its failings and an overall feeling of 'really? That's really where they're going to take this?' definitely pervaded. Works hard to earn the phrase 'missed opportunity', which it owns like very few films before it.

She's Out Of My League is previewing in UK cinemas from Wednesday 2nd June and is on general release from Friday 4th June.

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'As She’s Out of My League is a romantic comedy, one could come to expect the film to focus more on the love story and use the comedic moments as a backup, but for this movie, it seems like the writers were attempting to put the comedy aspect into the limelight and use the love story as something to build off of… sadly, that method doesn’t work' - Movie Cynics, 5/10


  1. I also found the two leads likeable and engaging, and even though the story was bogus, it is a very easy movie to sit through. The disastrous third act keeps me from completely recommending it, but I think it is still a level above most romantic comedies coming out today.

  2. To see Jay Baruchel in an original, left-of-center romantic comedy, I always point people to "I'm Reed Fish." Have you seen that one? It's pretty charming and has some great performances from Baruchel and Schuyler Fisk (who's also a fabulous singer/songwriter).

  3. Danny - I agree with some of that. The final act is awful and the chase thing at the end is farcical. As I say, I could see promise there but it just destroyed itself by going down the sex comedy route.

    M. Carter - I've not seen that no but I'll see if it's available over here. I did find him fun to watch although it'll be interesting to see how long he can keep making a joke (the joke?) about how geeky he is.