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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: She's Out of My League

June 17th, 2010

She's Out of My League - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

She's Out of My League represents Jay Baruchel's first starring role in a major movie, having previously had supporting roles in hits like Tropic Thunder and Knocked Up, as well as starring roles in smaller films like I'm Reed Fish. There was a real possibility that this would be his break-out hit. However, the film wasn't able to become a big hit at the box office. Was this because its stars didn't have enough drawing power, or was the film flawed in some way?

Jay Baruchel stars as Kirk Kettner, an average guy that works at the airport in security. Two years before the movie starts, his girlfriend, Marnie, had dumped him and since then all he's wanted to do is win her back. On the other hand, his friends all say he's better off without her, and it's hard to argue with their assessment of the situation, given how terrible she is to him.

Things change for him when Molly walks into his life. Molly is, to be blunt, hot, and all the other security officers take their time to ogle her, hit on her, try and wave their wand over her. When Kirk escorts her through before someone decides she needs a pat down, she's grateful. As she is again when he returns her iPhone that she accidentally left behind at the security checkpoint. As a thank you, she invites him and a friend to a hockey game with her and her friend, Patty. They click and she asks him out, but that's when the trouble starts. His friends are convinced that the gap in attractiveness is too great to overcome (she being a ten, he being a five) and Patty thinks she's not serious and Kirk's just a safe guy she can date after her last relationship ended poorly. With friends on both sides doubting the relationship can survive, will the pressure become too much? Will Kirk's self-doubt make it impossible for him to be with Molly in the end?

If I were to use one word to describe She's Out of My League, it would be "uneven." There's a charm to Jay Baruchel that really helps. The chemistry between him and Alice Eve sell the film. On the other end of the scale, a lot of the gross-out humor is over-the-top and really just not funny. (That scene with the dog is completely unnecessary.) The supporting cast is also a major plus, for the most part. Some of the characters are a little underwritten. But Nate Torrence is great as Devon, Kirk's more supportive friend. He is married with kids, so all of his pop-culture references come from Disney movies, and as someone who has reviewed more Disney Princess movies than the average middle-age single guy should watch, I could relate. And Krysten Ritter proves once again that she can lift anything she's in. This is the third time I've reviewed her work, and she continues to impress me. I also liked seeing Lindsay Sloane playing the monster ex-girlfriend, as she more often plays the person that other people walk over.

Enough of it works that I can recommend watching the movie, but enough doesn't that it hurts the replay value.

Extras on the DVD start with an audio commentary track with the director, Jim Field Smith. It's a solo track and I generally prefer two or more participants, which usually helps with the energy level, as the people bounce ideas off of each other. That said, it's a solid track that's worth listening to. Next up is Devon's Dating Show, which has Nate Torrence and Kyle Bornheimer, in character, giving the do's and don'ts of dating. It has some funny jokes to it, but I'm not sure if it has seven-and-a-half minutes of funny jokes. (Also, Dylan, the character played by Kyle Bornheimer, is one of the more underwritten characters in the movie.) Next up are four deleted scenes, plus an extended ending, with optional commentary track. That's five scenes with a total running time of just three-and-a-half minutes, which is hardly substantive. Finally, there is a six-minute gag reel. I would have liked to have seen more of the cast involved here.

There are no additional extras on the Blu-ray. As for the film's technical presentation, it's solid, but not spectacular. Colors are sharp, as are the details, while there are no complaints with compression artifacts or errors. Dialogue is clear, for the most part, while there is some use of the surround sound speakers for crowd scenes and the like. That said, this is a dialogue driven comedy, so it should come as no surprise that this is not a disc that one would use to show off your home theater system. Finally, it costs 33% more, which is a little more than I would like to pay, given the lack of exclusives and merely solid technical presentation.

The Verdict

Everything about the home market debut of She's Out of My League is good, but not great. The film itself has many funny / charming moments, but there are too many unnecessary gross-out gags that prevent it from reaching its full potential. The extras on the DVD include the most of the usual bits, but not much more than that. While the Blu-ray is solid, but hardly a must have. Call it a solid rental, leaning toward a purchase, while the Blu-ray is right on the border between being worth the upgrade or not.

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