review for I'm Reed Fish on AllMovie

I'm Reed Fish (2006)
by Josh Ralske review

I'm Reed Fish is a reasonably engaging romantic comedy, featuring endearing performances from its young leads. Jay Baruchel, as Reed, utilizes the same goofy gawkiness that made his work on Undeclared such a pleasure, while Schuyler Fisk exudes a refreshing guilelessness as "the other woman" in his life, and she pulls off a convincing musical number, to boot. The supporting cast is equally fine. These are enjoyable people to spend time with, and that helps give the sense that Mud Meadows is a friendly community, despite the presence of a few cranks. The story putters along amiably enough until its sneaky film-within-a-film framework reveals itself. Once the cleverness of that moment subsides, the film snags on its malnourished framing story. The film-within-a-film conceit actually detracts from the main story, and more cynical viewers might see it as a cynical way to throw a little crafty but wholly unnecessary ingenuity into an otherwise routine if well-executed small-town romantic comedy. In the film, the "fictional" part of the story is presented as a bit of a ruse, but ironically it's the making-a-movie-about-making-a-movie aspect that comes across as somewhat weak and contrived. I'm Reed Fish demonstrates a lot of talent, but it's another case of a neophyte filmmaker not recognizing where his true strengths lie, and feeling the need to embellish a perfectly charming first feature with distracting whistles and bells.