She’s Out of My League

Posted on June 22, 2010 at 8:35 am

“She’s Out of My League” recognizes that raunchiness is easy, but sweetness is the challenge. Making both parts of the equation work is something of a struggle but this movie comes closer than many.
The title says it all, and the mismatch of tone parallels the mismatch in the story. It’s a gender-reversed Cinderella story about a shlub who loves a goddess. And he has no idea what to do when it appears that she might just like him back. He cannot believe that he deserves her, and so of course he then does everything he can think of to prove he’s right by making the near-fatal mistake of taking the advice of his friends. The definitive response to this, of course, is still the scene in “Say Anything,” the quintessential she’s out of my league movie, where John Cusack responds to his friends’ awful advice: “If you guys know so much about women, how come you’re here at like the Gas ‘n’ Sip on a Saturday night completely alone drinking beers with no women anywhere?” Apparently, Kirk (Jay Baruchel of “Tropic Thunder” and “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist”) never saw that movie because when one of his friends tells him that the way to a woman’s heart is to engage in an extreme makeover of a personal area, he goes for it all the way in an extended scene that somehow — see above — manages to become kind of sweet.
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A lot of the credit goes to Baruchel, in his first romantic lead, as Kirk, the TSA security guy who works at the airport so he can dream of becoming a pilot, and Alice Eve as Molly, the impossibly beautiful dream girl who also happens to be smart, successful, kind-hearted, and able to somehow see more in Kirk than anyone else ever has. They never lose sight of the fact that this has to work as a romance as well as an over-the-top outrageous comedy, and that helps carry the audience through the slow patches. Unfortunately, it doesn’t to much to get us through the excruciating patches in which Kirk is subjected to a series of humiliating events, many featuring his embarrassingly obnoxious family and ex-girlfriend as well as various drawn-out mess-ups and recoveries and confrontations, ending, finally, in the inevitable race through the airport for a movie that never makes it off the ground.

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Comedy Romance

Interview: Alice Eve and Krysten Ritter of ‘She’s Out of My League’

Posted on March 10, 2010 at 3:59 pm

It’s impossible to meet the gloriously beautiful, smart, and funny Alice Eve and Krysten Ritter without feeling that they are completely out of the league of any mere mortals. In “She’s out of My League,” Eve very believably plays a woman of such beauty and accomplishment that the main character, played by Jay Baruchel (“Knocked Up,” “Tropic Thunder”) is too insecure to handle the relationship. Ritter plays her cynical best friend. But they are also gloriously nice and made the interview a real pleasure.

Have you ever dated anyone you thought was out of your league?

Ritter: I’ve dated someone that other people thought was out of my league. But if you’re with somebody, you think they’re a 10.

Eve: I’m stealing that line. It’s true, if you’re with somebody you think they’re a 10. I always think that if I’m with somebody, they’re better than me. That’s why I love them. They’re amazing.

Do you think that men and women rate each other differently?

Eve: Women are less aesthetic than men.

Ritter: Men are more visual creatures and rate women based on looks. We like to laugh and be shown a good time. I’ve never rated anyone on looks.

You seem like real friends on screen. Did you know each other before?

Ritter: We are real friends now but didn’t know each other before. Alice was cast in the movie and I came in to chemistry read. It just worked.

The wisecracking best friend is always a great role, isn’t it?

Ritter: It is always a lot of fun. It’s a good time. You don’t feel like you’re under any pressure except to be funny. I think there was even more outrageous language in the original script but then the studio didn’t want quote unquote pretty girls saying awful things. But we got them in there. The “plane doctor” joke was cut from the script. The script had the character as unattractive, plain, frumpy best friend. But then I read and got the part and then they started to change it and get away from the really foul-mouthed and sarcastic lines. But then when we were shooting we decided to try it and it made it into the movie and the trailer.

You wear some beautiful clothes in the movie.

Ritter: You had standard, conventional fabulous, stuff. I had cooler, edgier, weirder stuff. The costume designer didn’t have the right sizes for me so we literally got in the car and went to all these boutiques in Pittsburgh and got all these great pieces. I wanted to keep everything especially the green one from the Andy Warhol party scene.

Eve: We had a lot of fittings I had to go back to New York for and the producers at Dreamworks were really involved in the look and what was right. I put a lot of work, sweat, and tears in those fittings and it has been so rewarding to have it pay off because we’ve had such great responses to the costumes. They clothes show that she is very successful, she’s got taste, she’s got money. It’s an inch by inch process, do you like this, maybe we’ll try this one for now, it can be a very long process.

Tell me about working with Jay.

Eve: He’s so great! The dramatic stuff, the comedic stuff, a lot of intimate stuff, we put work into it. it’s about building the right kind of relationship together and knowing that the energy you have together keeps that alive for the duration of the film.

You’re playing a character who is supposed to be just about perfect. And a lot of what you are doing is reacting in the middle of some outrageous behavior. How do you make that work?

Eve: I felt like she was an honest, straight, calm, nice, person. So you have a whole plethora of choices, and it was incredibly refreshing to me because you don’t have to be the bitch or the slut or the clumsy one. It was a lovely thing to have that role. At the time I was outraged when they cut out all the swearing in the original script but in retrospect I think it was the right choice.

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Actors Interview
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