review for She's Out of My League on AllMovie

She's Out of My League (2010)
by Cammila Collar review

If you're particularly discerning about your comedy, it's easy to watch the first 15 minutes of She's Out of My League and think you're in for a tedious hour and a half. And that's too bad, because the actors in this little romcom will probably win you over if you give them a chance -- even if you can't help noticing how generic the script is. A genuinely nice but thoroughly awkward leading guy tries to forge a decent relationship with a pretty girl, when he's not working at some kind of semi-crappy job where he takes massive amounts of flack from his group of arrested-adolescent friends -- yeah, you've seen this before. But you haven't seen it with this cast of up-and-comers, and while at first they can each seem like the poor man's version of a bigger name, it's actually fun to see fresh faces take on the old-hat R-rated comedy tropes that we'd probably be subjected to anyway.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that those fresh faces belong to actors who can hold their own, especially star Jay Baruchel, who manages to bring a totally unique and consistently funny energy to a stock role worn in by guys like Michael Cera and the Apatow crowd. Kirk is an airport security peon who's thought about being a pilot but never taken the next step. He's desperately clinging to memories of a two-years-dead relationship with a trashy chick named Marnie when Molly -- a "hard ten" on the 1-10 scale of hotness -- forgets her phone in Kirk's security line and the two make a seemingly inexplicable connection. Kirk's unforgiving bros take every opportunity to remind him that with his skinny build, dead-end job, and crappy car, he is barely a 5, rendering Molly -- with her super smarts, general gorgeousness, and awesomely sweet disposition -- totally out of his league. But still, she has everything a guy could ask for (including a pointlessly bitchy friend, played delightfully by Krysten Ritter), so Kirk muddles his way through.

Trite life lessons about the meaninglessness of scoring people on a 10-point scale aside (he can be HER 10!), She's Out of My League really does pick up steam as it goes along. This is almost entirely due to the charm and hilarity that the cast members bring to what on paper are really just boiler-plate characters. T.J. Miller, who plays the Loud Mouth Friend, deserves particular credit, going full force with a part that's been played by Jonah Hill and Jack Black a million times over without ever parroting his predecessors. It's that newness that makes the movie work, proving a little new blood can bring to life even something we've seen plenty of times before.