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Frat Pack Tribute Movie Review: My Super-Ex Girlfriend

Review by Kevin Crossman

Poor Luke Wilson. Two of his recent movies, Idiocracy and The Wendell Baker Story, have seen delays of several years and still aren't close to any sort of release. He appeared in bit parts in two 2006 films, Hoot and Mini's First Time, both of which came and went at the box office. So, fans of Wilson must be pretty happy to see their star in a real-life studio film that made it to theatres. Based on a super-hero premise, Wilson is basically asked to hold up the entire film. Does our hero save the day?

Directed by Ivan Reitman, the movie centers on Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson) who thinks he's finally found the perfect girlfriend, uptight art dealer Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman) – who just so happens to be a superhero. Similar to his Old School role, Wilson's lady-less nice-guy character is encouraged by his friends to pursue romance. Things seem to go well at first but when Jenny/G-Girl becomes overly possessive, Matt wants to call it quits. But how do you break up with a superhero? A scorned woman, Jenny/G-Girl unleashes on her ex the full fury of her super-powered wrath as she sets out on a no-holds-barred mission to bust up Matt's budding romance with his co-worker Hannah (Anna Faris).

Wilson tries hard and at times shows perfect comic timing. There's a hilarious sequence (nearly worth the price of admission) where Matt and Jenny consummate their romance, climaxing in one of the best lines in recent movie history. Wilson also reminds us he plays well with other guys too during several scenes with his horny coworker Vaughn (Rainn Wilson). These two have real chemistry, as does Wilson and Anna Faris. So, fans of Wilson's signature Frat Pack film Old School will be reminded that he is an underrated comic actor who shines on his own and helps raise the game of his fellow actors.

Unfortunately, while Faris and Rainn Wilson are well known for their comic timing, Uma Thurman is not. Its often painful to watch Thurman try to keep up with her fellow actors that also include Eddie Izzard playing her arch-enemy Professor Bedlam. Again and again Thurman plays it too big when some degree of comic subtlety would have been more effective. This is especially problematic during the "Jenny" sequences where we are supposed to believe that Matt falls for her. She's better in G-Girl mode but the direction here does not provide the requisite amount of foreboding when she turns against her former love.

For two acts Luke Wilson holds this film up as some sort of superhero in street clothes (Everyman, perhaps?). But the films poorly constructed -- and unfunny -- third act is the kryponite for Wilson and the film. It's not inventive and poorly executed.

The special effects in this movie are pretty good. The flying sequences look great, and they've added a really nice flying effect to G-Girl's aerial arsenal. There's another sequence with a shark that's both believable as well as funny.

My Super-Ex Girlfriend is a deeply flawed film but we enjoyed it anyway. Luke Wilson is a pleasure to watch and plays well with Anna Faris and Rainn Wilson. We found ourselves laughing quite a bit, at least for the first two acts. This isn't a comedy classic but at least it's nice to see Wilson doing his thing.

***

DVD Review

The Super-Ex DVD includes a full or widescreen presentation of the movie. I laughed several times watching the movie again on DVD, and my critique of the third act has softened somewhat. And I must emphasize again what a fabulous job Luke Wilson does in this movie.

In terms of extras, there are five deleted scenes that provide a couple good laughs from Luke and Uma, along with more backstory for the G-Girl and Bedlam storylines. The DVD also includes an extended shark sequence, one of the highlights of the movie.

Overall, this isn't the most feature-packed DVD, but the movie's availabilty on home video does provide an opportunity for those who missed the movie in theatres to experience this enjoyable, funny, and often charming film.

 

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