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Paramount’s ‘League’ dreams of being next ‘Something About Mary’

BY SEAN O’CONNELL

She’s Out of My League (** out of 4)
There’s sentimental work being done by geeky Jay Baruchel (“Tropic Thunder”) and gorgeous Alice Eve in Jim Field Smith’s “She’s Out of My League.” Too bad the lewd, rude, R-rated comedy’s too hellbent on becoming the next “There’s Something About Mary” or Judd Apatow offshoot to realize it’s finest quality is its tender heart.

Lanky but likable Baruchel plays Kirk, an airport security technician who’s recovering from a breakup when Molly (Eve) leaves her cellphone at his metal detector. By returning it, Kirk earns a sympathy date that expands into an actual relationship between the opposites – much to the chagrin of Kirk and Molly’s friends and family members.

We all want to believe love connections like this are possible, and Baruchel and Eve do their part to convincingly sell this tentative relationship. The best scenes in “League” find the duo sharing secrets over a quiet dinner, or Kirk introducing Molly to his overbearing family and having her explain what she sees in their uncomfortable offspring.

Romantic momentum is halted, however, as Smith resorts to gross-out jokes because history tells him they are a necessary part of the formula. Baruchel and Eve seem to be building a mature relationship. I wonder why their director torpedoes them with premature ejaculations, dogs licking semen, and Kirk getting his testicles shaved by his (male) best friend.

“League” comes up with its own formula of assigning numerical values to people. Molly, for instance, is a hard 10. Kirk’s a 5. His friends are threes. His wretched family is a 2. Graded on a curve, the movie that contains them all is a 4. You decide if that’s worth your $10.

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