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Review: My Best Friend’s Girl (2008)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 21/05/09.

My Best Friend's Girl

Tank Turner (Dane Cook, Good Luck Chuck) is a call centre worker with a side business: dumped boyfriends pay him to take out their slighted ex-girlfriends, and in that date be such an asshole to the degree that they come running back to the boyfriend who looks angelic in comparison.

Things get complicated when he is hired by his roommate and best friend (the one from the title, you see where this is going yet?) Dustin, played by Jason Biggs (American Pie 2), to take out his co-worker and “friend” Alexis (Kate Hudson, Almost Famous). Things go pear-shaped when Tank actually falls for Alexis, putting her between the two best friends. Tank is torn between loyalty and love, while Dustin desperately tries to keep himself as an integral part of Alexis’ life.

Needless to say that the storyline for this movie is nothing special, but when it comes to comedies the story isn’t important, what’s important is that I’m entertained. And was I? This movie is pretty much a vehicle to get a large part of Dane Cook’s stand-up routine onto film and looking at it from that perspective I would consider it great success. Now, don’ be fooled by the trailers and the posters and the Kate Hudson, this isn’t your standard Hollywood feel-good chick flick barf fest. It’s vulgar, really, really vulgar and at times very mean spirited. Awesome for me, but if you’re the type of person that complains about shit like McDonald’s commercials during kids TV or trying to get movies censored, then you should really not go anywhere near this. Actually, you shouldn’t go near anything because you’re just gonna COMPLAIN about it, aren’t you? What are you ever doing reading this? Let’s move on.

Cook shines when he turns up the arrogance, turns up the vulgarity and let’s loose. It’s easy to see that the man was given a lot of free reign when it came to improvising his lines and it shows.  There are stages in the movie in which the guy has to actually act a bit in which he struggles, but rest assured that soon enough Cook will be off again cussing and doing what brought him to the dance. He pretty much saves this movie from receiving the Sorry I’m Late.com Heigl Award (an award no film aspires to achieve).

Now Cook is a man with very vocal critics, a group of which I am not a part of. I find the dude hilarious when he just goes nuts and cuts loose, but that also seems to be what the haters call him on. So here’s the tip:

Like Cook = watch this. No like Cook = no watch this.
Simple, right?

The other standout is Alec Baldwin who seems to be relishing his recent career stint as comic foil as opposed to world’s greatest actor. Going out on a limb, but I’d say the man spent a bit of time studying Dane Cook on stage because in this movie, he plays Tank’s father Professor Turner, the man who taught Tank everything he knows about womanising. Baldwin chews up desks, chairs and any other scenery he can get his hands on in this outrageous and OTT portrayal, which ultimately is a fun but forgettable chapter in his career.

Everything else is honestly a bit meh. Biggs is serviceable, Caplan is underused but why, oh why did this movie have to have Kate Hudson in it? The one-trick-pony Hudson and her popcorn fart romantic comedy sensibilities have no place here. The entire thing basically comes to a standstill in the second act when Tank is trying to be the good guy around her, a part of the movie in which we are supposed to sense their connection. But there is no connection as we know who Tank is (an extension of Cook the person), and Hudson just doesn’t work. She tries the dirty stuff but it just seems forced. This thing really needed someone who could stand their own on screen against Cook. Bad casting. Bad.

Sadly, because it’s a guy’s movie disguised as a girl’s movie a feel that this one is going to be lost in the shuffle of movies that aren’t sure of what they’re supposed to be, or better put, movies that are marketed to be something than what they indeed are.

Not the best thing going around, but has its moments of brilliance, mostly when Cook and Baldwin’s leashes are loosened and they go all out.  A few patches of blandness, mainly on the part of Hudson, shouldn’t stop you from at least giving this one a crack.

– Cook and Baldwin in full gear.
– The 10 moments where the date goes wrong (both times)
– Some dirty, dirty dialogue.

– Kate Hudson. Urgh.
– Some stuff just isn’t funny (his eyebrow shaved off teehee).

– Good Luck Chuck
– Knocked Up
– Wedding Crashers

Directed by: Howard Deutsh
Written by:  Jordan Cahan
Produced by:  Adam Herz, Dane Cook
Starring: Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, Jason Biggs, Alec Baldwin, Lizzy Caplan
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Budget: $20 million
Run length: 101 minutes
Australian Release: 9 October 2008

 

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