Movie Review: She’s Out of My League (R)


Not Quite Major “League,” but Good Enough

By Roxana Hadadi

As a romantic comedy geared more toward guys than girls, “She’s Out of My League” is pretty funny. But when compared to other made-for-men successes like “Wedding Crashers” and “The Hangover,” it’s not flawless. Does it have its moments? Sure. But overall, there are specific scenes that are unforgettable – not a whole hilarious film.

Along the lines of other films like “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,” “She’s Out of My League” focuses on a nerdy main character who means well but still ends up being socially awkward, this time captured by Jay Baruchel (“Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”). He plays 20something Kirk Kettner, an officer with the Transportation Security Administration at an airport in Pittsburgh, Pa.; though he wanted to attend college, his father bought a swimming pool instead. So while Kirk has aspirations for a better life – specifically, one day being a pilot – he’s also come to the realization that it will probably never happen.

But with friends just as ambitionless as himself, Kirk really has no motivation to change. His three best buds, all of whom also work at TSA, are Stainer (T.J. Miller, “Extract”), whose own lack of self-confidence also drags Kirk down; Jack (Mike Vogel, “Cloverfield”), the rugged-looking ladies’ man who gets most of the girls; and Devon (Nate Torrence, “My Best Friend’s Girl”), their chubby married friend who is a sucker for romance and likes comparing their potential relationships to ones from animated Disney films like “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast.” If this sounds a little similar to the quirky guys in “Knocked Up,” that’s because it is.

And much like the guys in “Knocked Up” had their own in-jokes, so do the ones in “She’s Out of My League.” For example, they all hate Marnie (Lindsay Sloane), Kirk’s soul-sucking ex-girlfriend who treated him like crap, and also rate themselves and others on a 10-point system of attractiveness. Factors like being in a band and being funny can drive up to your score, while having a lame car or a dead-end job push it down – and, according to Stainer, no one can jump more than two points in his or her dating habits. So a guy that’s a five can’t date a girl that’s a 10 – which is exactly the problem the guys find themselves in when hottie Molly McCall (Alice Eve) expresses interest in dating Kirk after he finds and returns her iPhone.

That sincerity, coupled with Kirk’s refusal to treat her like a piece of meat (as every other man in the universe does), intrigue Molly; plus, she’s trying to date guys markedly different than her macho ex-boyfriend Cam (Geoff Stults), a pilot who named his plane “Foot Long” and has vowed to get Molly back. The times he meets Kirk, he thinks he’s first a waiter and then gay – and Molly’s hesitance to introduce Kirk as her boyfriend to her parents or confirm their dating to Cam weigh on Kirk’s mind, forcing him to reevaluate whether tthe two can really be together, given the yawning gap in their point status.

Most of the film brings to mind other romantic comedy classics – specifically “The Wedding Singer,” which also has an important scene on a flight and tackles issues of self-esteem and relationship security – but unfortunately, the flick lacks integral character development to make the relationship totally believable. Kirk is first depicted as needy and clingy when it comes to Marnie, but he doesn’t really think twice about ending things with Molly – who is significantly hotter and less awful – later on in the film. Similarly, all we really learn about Molly is that she has a great mind for event-planning, but is too afraid to tell her parents about her career and relationship choices; that anxiety is never resolved, making her a fairly one-dimensional character.

Nevertheless, the film has moments of indisputable hilarity. Though Miller channels too much of Jason Lee, Jonah Hill and “Napoleon Dynamite” in his portrayal of Stainer, his constant cracks on Marnie and generally sarcastic behavior is pretty funny, and the scenes that pit Marnie against Molly are also great, especially a family-dinner moment that includes a lack of underwear. And a nude bottom is integral to the film’s most ridiculous moment, which involves Kirk and Devon giving a certain area of his body hair a trim. Your face will hurt, it is that uncomfortably hilarious.

And for anyone who has seen “American Pie,” none of this should be that offensive. There’s no nudity except for Kirk’s posterior, and though the film is full of cursing and has a heavy make-out scene, it certainly deserves an R rating less than “The Hangover” did. For tweens, it’ll be a no-go, but the 17-and-older rule may not necessarily apply for all teenagers, depending on their maturity level and whether they’ve seen “Superbad,” the new barometer for such absurd comedies.

So while it’s not necessarily a new classic, “She’s Out of My League” definitely has glimpses of greatness. Don’t expect to remember that much of it later on, but what you keep in mind will certainly keep you giggling.


Roxana Hadadi last reviewed “Remember Me.”

Thinking about a different movie? Movies out this week include “Our Family Wedding” and “Remember Me”