My Super Ex-Girlfriend review by Mike Long

Most of us have very anonymous or isolated jobs and thus, if we suffer a mis-step, usually only one or two others know about it. This is not the case for those in the public eye. If they have a screw-up, blow-out, or disappointment, it's on display for the world to see. The tabloids are full of celebrities who've made fools of themselves, but what about those who are simply struggling in their careers. It's sad to see a once great artist performing at a level that doesn't do justice to their previous work. This is one of the most unfulfilling aspects of My Super Ex-Girlfriend, the latest film from director Ivan Reitman. The man who helped define comedy in the 80s is clearly having trouble with the new millennium.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend introduces us to mild-mannered guy Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson), who is ordinary in every way. He's a mid-level cog at a design firm who is rarely lucky in love. Matt spends most of his time with his obnoxious friend, Vaughn (Rainn Wilson), who fancies himself to be a ladies' man. Matt clearly has a crush on his co-worker Hannah (Anna Faris), but she's dating a male-model. However, Matt's life is changed when he meets Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman), a shy and seemingly uptight woman who works in an art gallery. Matt and Jenny go on a date, and Matt is surprised by how this wallflower becomes very aggressive. Actually, he's more scared than surprised and considers not seeing her again. But, they do go out again and Jenny acts more and more neurotic every time that they are together, as she's often nervous, jittery, and somewhat jealous as well. Deciding that he doesn't need this hassle, Matt ends his relationship with Jenny. What Matt doesn't know is that Jenny is actually local superhero G-Girl and she plans to use her superpowers to make Matt's life a living hell.

Doesn't that sound like a good movie? The idea is a clever one, the cast is full of pleasing names, and you've got Mr. Ivan Reitman, the director of Ghostbusters and Stripes behind the camera. What could go wrong? That's an interesting question, because nothing really goes wrong with My Super Ex-Girlfriend, but nothing really goes right either. And therein lies the problem -- My Super Ex-Girlfriend is an incredibly mediocre movie.

In fact, it's so middle-of-the-road that it's hard for me to pinpoint exactly what the problem is. I can say that I found the casting of the lead roles to be questionable. Matt is supposed to be a semi-neurotic guy who gets totally freaked out when he learns the truth about Jenny and her thirst for revenge. And yet, Luke Wilson is so naturedly laid-back (but not as much as his brother Owen), that it's hard to believe that he's truly afraid. Uma Thurman just never seems to get the right vibe in the role and in all three of her personas (timid Jenny, wild Jenny, and G-Girl) she doesn't nail the role. Also, she can be very attractive, but she just looks weird here. On the plus side, the supporting roles are all great. The movie certainly picks up when Wilson, Faris, Wanda Sykes or the villainous Eddie Izzard are on-screen.

The tone of the movie never feels quite right either. When Reitman was at the top of his game in the 80s, his films were always irreverent. Even the classic Ghostbusters was pretty ballsy for its time. But, My Super Ex-Girlfriend just feels too safe. In fact, there were times when it felt like a made-for-TV movie. Yes, there are some sex jokes, and one gag which revolves entirely around sex, but it's all quite tame. The only facet in the film that even gets close to being controversial is the fact that the movie could be construed as being quite sexist. Vaughn warns Matt to stay away from "crazy" women and once it's established that Jenny is a "crazy" girlfriend, there's no argument against this idea.

Can you sense my inner turmoil in reviewing My Super Ex-Girlfriend. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it, and these are always the hardest movies to critique. I can say that the movie made me laugh a few times. But, coming from Ivan Reitman (despite the fact that his recent track-record has been less than stellar), the movie is a disappointment. Much of the film is a collection of missed opportunities. Those who know me could verify this next statement: If there's a movie with a shark scene and I don't love that movie, then something is definitely wrong. If you won't a movie that will neither excite you, nor bore you, then My Super Ex-Girlfriend is the answer.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend goes nutzoid on DVD courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The DVD contains both the widescreen and full-frame versions of the film. For the purposes of this review, only the widescreen version was viewed. The film has been letterboxed at 2.40:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image looks pretty good, as the picture is sharp and clear. The image is free from grain or defects from the source material. The colors look fine, as Reitman has shot everything in a fairly natural style. The image did show some flickering at times, as well as some notable video noise. The DVD offers a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The surround speakers come to life during the action scenes and there are some nice bass effects as well, most notably when G-Girl drops a car onto the street.

The DVD only has a few extras. The widescreen side has 5 DELETED SCENES which comprise about 7 minutes. Only one of these scenes offers anything totally new. There is also a MUSIC VIDEO from Molly McQueen for the song "No Sleep 2 Nite". The full-frame side offers one extended scene.

5 out of 10 Jackasses

blog comments powered by Disqus