Synopsis: A woman finds herself in a love triangle with two very different men.
Release Date: November 17, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Comedy, Romance
Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) always had one passion – softball. It was her life until the day she turned 31, and got cut from the USA Softball team. She now finds herself with the ever-evolving question: What to do next with my life? With no career and no husband for her in sight she finds herself in a love triangle with two men, who couldn’t be more unusual, and each involvement is for the wrong reason.
Guy number one: Manny (Owen Wilson), a successful major league baseball player who embodies every known cliche of male athletes and celebrities, a combination of machismo and Casanova. Manny couldn’t be more happy with his single non-committed lifestyle until he finds himself drawn to Lisa who wants Manny’s closeness because she needs someone who doesn’t pity her and doesn’t question her about her life. Manny takes this as a sign of a perfect girlfriend. For example, when Manny makes an inappropriate comment and starts an argument, in which he was clearly in the wrong, Lisa says to him that she owes him an apology and he joyfully declares with a big smile on his face that she is indeed his dream girl.
Guy number two: George (Paul Rudd), the nerdy corporate executive who works for his father’s (Charles, played by Jack Nicholson) firm, and whom after a shady business deal by his dad finds himself under federal investigation for a crime he didn’t directly commit. He now has to make a decision, take the guilt upon himself and go to jail for 3 years or let his dad go to jail, in which case he would get 23 years. On top of all this his girlfriend has just dumped him.
Lisa is set up by a friend on a blind date with George, and sees him as nothing more than a friend as she feels comfortable enough to express her feelings and emotional state at the moment. He is indeed the complete opposite of Manny: he has no game and lacks the confidence on how to win a girl over. And still his immature innocence draws Lisa to him, she feels confidant in herself around him.
Thanks to the genius James L. Brooks who wrote and directed this comedy, the jokes are on point and modern. Even if the ever-evolving romantic comedy of love triangles is nothing new to the viewer, the humor keeps it fresh. Nevertheless, I caught myself drifting away during some scenes. At some points the pacing could have been a bit faster. I loved watching dialogues from Wilson’s insensitive character interact with Lisa and caught myself hoping she will end up with Manny and not the boring George, because his interaction with Lisa was inactive and annoying. It might not be the best movie James L. Brooks has ever done but it is amusing and worth going to the theater for a first date–the jokes may help loosen up the pressure.
Owen Wilson gives a great performance in playing the tactless but still charming jock, who’s directness makes him a bit naive but still lovable. Nevertheless, it is questionable if Owen’s physique is the right match for playing a pro-baller but he is so perfect in his role it’s almost as if the role was written with Owen in mind. Reese Witherspoon plays her usual role as the charming lovable blonde but in this comedy she is a bit over-the-top clueless on top of it. The actions and choices her character takes seem so unrealistic that no girl in her right mind would make them. Paul Rudd’s George is funny at times but seems too be over doing it for the most part. He wants to be more than liked by Lisa and plays the “I can be the perfect boyfriend” in an exaggerated manner. What his character is lacking most is, that he is indeed not interesting. He works for a corporation, his life, up until now, was normal. Now, he might go to jail and his girlfriend just dumped him. He is just not that appealing and memorable of a character. As a matter of fact, the viewer wants the girl to end up with the macho pro baller because one would think what really makes her go for this guy? There should be more than goofy innocence that makes a woman drawn to a man.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): James L. BrooksLaurence MarkPaula Weinstein
- Producer(s): James L. Brooks
- Screenwriter(s): Reese Witherspoon (Lisa Jorgenson)Jack Nicholson (Charles)Paul Rudd (George)
- Story: Owen Wilson (Matty)
- Cast: Richard MarksJanusz Kaminski
- Cinematographer: Hans Zimmer
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA