October 27, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

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


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.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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