My Best Friend’s Girl (4/10)

Dane Cook finally finds the right haven for his style of comedy in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” – he plays a complete jerk, and does so effectively, and often to hilarious effect. It’s too bad he has to be playing the romantic opposite of a woman with whom he shares zero chemistry and a screenplay that is bound and determined to fulfill every single romantic comedy cliche in spite of the sometimes-bordering-on-clever screenplay. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a screenplay so bent on its own destruction – nearly anytime it starts to veer into territory any cleverer than the usual tripe, some romcom stand-by rears its ugly head and cuts off the characters from going places that matter instead of those that don’t.

Jason Biggs plays opposite Cook in what is many of the pic’s highlights – performances on the side that, though clearly one-note, are still played effectively. Biggs is Dustin, Tank’s (Cook) sweet, sensitive, innocent, and all around good guy roommate who is head-over-heels in five-week love with his co-worker Alexis (Kate Hudson, trying her best to kill the movie hand-in-hand with the screenplay), and in an attempt to convince her that she should go with “the good guy,” he hires Tank, a man whose hobby is similar to Hitch’s, but in a demonic jerk kind of way – after all, once girls realize that there are incredible jerks out there, they’ll want one of the good guys, right?

So remains the premise of the movie, which, when given a dozen chances, flatly refuses to go anywhere, always bringing it squarely back into boring old romcom territory – the ending, predictably, drags on twenty minutes pointlessly, and the writing is so clumsy that an overused romcom cliche screeches its way to the surface (completely unwarranted by what came before, of course) about five minutes before the end.

Alec Baldwin cameos as Tank’s sex-crazed father, a women’s studies college professor who bangs any admiring young co-ed who bends over in his plush office, and it’s honestly the highlight of the picture – when the screenplay stops reigning itself in and goes all out – giving the audience true crudity instead of the sophomoric kind. Baldwin also relishes the role – speaking in low classic Baldwin tones, squinting those Baldwin eyes, and in every way almost parodying the idea of this role and himself as an actor. Dane Cook basically plays a slightly toned down version of his father – and he’s finally good at something, he can jump from jerk to nice guy effortlessly and manages to make it seem believable the script’s impossibly-convenient character turns demand from him. It’s certainly way better than the nice guy he was trying to play himself off as in Good Luck Chuck (oh, shucks, I guess I gotta sleep with dozens of girls) – his free reign role as a jerk is nearly masterful.

So, surprisingly, My Best Friend’s Girl is not a complete tank (pun signed, sealed, and delivered), but it’s no Apatow affair either. It’s somewhere in between last year’s floppity-flop The Heartbreak Kid and this year’s Step Brothers, which isn’t saying much, but if you’ve been waiting to see Dane Cook in a role worth seeing, look no further than this maudlin and mediocre end-of-the summer comedy.


One Response to “My Best Friend’s Girl (4/10)”

  1. Haha, oops, I meant to say “My Best Friend’s Girl.” Yikes.

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