Jim Field Smith's She's Out of My League is one of those second-rate comedies that has a little something extra to make it extremely watchable. The film is perfectly cast all around, starting with the two leads. Jay Baruchel stars as Kirk, a Pittsburgh TSA officer, while Alice Eve plays the bombshell that somehow finds herself attracted to him. Baruchel, still only 27 years old, has surprisingly been in a lot of very good films, including Million Dollar Baby and Tropic Thunder. Here, he plays an older version of Jesse Eisenberg, and does it very well.
At the start of the film, Kirk is trying to win back his ex-girlfriend Marnie (Lindsay Sloane) after they've been separated for two years. She politely declines his offer, which includes some type of boxed heart to put her earrings in (his excuse for a present), and Kirk is left all alone; that is, until he comes across Molly's (Eve) lost cell phone at the airport and meets her at a party to return it.
The film's setup couldn't be more familiar, but the final product has a lively vibe to it that keeps it engaging throughout. Much of this credit is due to the supporting cast, which is responsible for the majority of the film's punchlines. T.J. Miller plays Stainer, and does a hilarious job of it, actually dominating most of the scenes he appears in. Meanwhile, Nate Torrence appears as Devon who, as the least manly one of the group, is ironically the only one who is married. Mike Vogel also chips in as Jack, the most-attractive member of the crew, if you will. In other words, on a scale from one to ten -- a concept used throughout the film -- he's the closest to a ten.
Krysten Ritter is also one of the film's highlights, playing Molly's closest friend, Patty. This entire cast seems as if they had a ball while shooting this film, and that is a very underrated asset a movie can have. I had a similar experience watching Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland. There's a sort of contagious effect to watching a group of actors playing off one another in an enjoyable, genuine way, and this film has that feel to it. Most of the jokes are decent at best on the page, but the manner in which they are delivered is what hits you the hardest.
Among the film's most entertaining characteristics, there also exists some pretty poor ones, most notably a mundane third act that puts the entire project in jeopardy. From the start, this film has a lot of positive momentum going for it, but just after the one hour mark, it begins to delve strictly into romantic comedy formula. Perhaps I shouldn't have expected anything different from this type of film, but the first hour or so is good enough to the point where I was expecting a tad more from the conclusion.
Nitpicking is nitpicking, however, and considering the disappointing state of some of today's romantic comedies, She's Out of My League is most definitely a pleasant surprise. I'm not quite sure how bad I expected it to be, but it turned out to be much better. Hidden underneath what appears to be your average R-rated comedy is, in my eyes, a pretty awesome performance by Baruchel. He's made a living so far off of playing the awkward, nerdy type, but he's asked to do much, much more in this film, and he delivers through and through. Alice Eve, who's rather easy on the eyes, also does a surprisingly good job of actually convincing us that she's a woman looking for love. If it hadn't been for the borderline pathetic conclusion, She's Out of My League could have been a rare gem, but instead, it takes the form of a fun Friday night movie. But make no mistake, that is no small feat.