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My Super Ex-Girlfriend
March 2007 SITE MAP   SEARCH

My Super Ex-Girlfriend
cast: Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Anna Faris, and Rainn Wilson

director: Ivan Reitman

96 minutes (12) 2006
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
20th Century Fox Region 2 rental / retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Christopher Geary
Okay, so the title says it all, really... but if you need it spelling out more clearly, this one-joke movie is (as many reviews have accurately described it) 'Wonder Woman meets Fatal Attraction' played for laughs. However, after such disappointments as Elektra, and the inane Catwoman (which probably setback the progress of super-heroine movies by 25 years), how bad could this cross-genre fantasy rom-com be?

Uma Thurman plays nerdy control-freak Jenny Johnson, and costumed superhero G-Girl. Luke Wilson is Jenny's hapless new boyfriend, Matt. Eddie Izzard is badly miscast as Barry, alias Professor Bedlam, the desperately lovesick arch-villain who tries (and has consistently failed, we are told) to make life and romance difficult for Jenny, or G-Girl. Matt also fails very miserably in serious relationships, getting bad advice on dating from his best friend Vaughn (Rainn Wilson), and not realising that office girl Hannah (Anna Faris) is pursuing him.

As lightweight and insubstantial as the CGI cars (and, notably, a huge shark) flung about and handled so effortlessly by G-Girl's super-strength and speed, My Super Ex-Girlfriend is a decidedly lame genre film. It's a compilation of comedy sketch material bereft of narrative coherence, lazily scripted by Dan Payne (regular writer and producer on cartoon series The Simpsons) with no attention to detail except to present a string of vacuous punch lines.

The best romantic-comedy fantasy movies (like Ron Howard's Splash) always have two sympathetic characters that audiences can identify with, and care about. Czech born director Ivan Reitman had a genre hit in the mid-1980s with Ghostbusters (in which Bill Murray wooed Sigourney Weaver), but failed to repeat the formula (with David Duchovny and Julianne Moore) in 2001's sci-fi adventure Evolution. Now, in this latest blundering attempt, Reitman wanders even further off-track.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend has main characters that are bloody irritating (as nagging toothache, not an unforgettable radio jingle), or just plain stupid (and certainly not in an endearing way, either). Instead of thinking of Jenny and Matt as a 'couple', we consider them 'a right pair' (of chumps?), with various flaws, tiresome quirks, and defective personality traits putting more distance between them (and consequently from any chance of winning audience sympathy) from their first date, even though, by classic Hollywood story logic, their obvious differences should bring them closer together.

The film's problems are then compounded because it's really not as if the script and direction are defying conventions, and the performances do not even try breaking away from stereotypes. Instead, there's just the transfer of certain aspects of 'sidekick' mannerisms, usually associated with a film's supporting cast, onto the star roles. In a smarter or more adventurous plot (see Big Trouble In Little China), that sort of thing is a clever switch that could work to a film's benefit as comedy or romance, but Reitman is clearly not interested in trying anything either genuinely creative or original here, for fear of losing the fickle interest (or limited attention span?) of the popcorn-munching teenage audience.

Here, the filmmakers are making pure fluff, not a potential cult movie, or a work of genre-breaking iconoclasm. Lukewarm, fuzzy-edged, and wholly implausible - even as farce, My Super Ex-Girlfriend deserves to find its way into DVD shops' sale bins and stay there, ignored by browsing customers, unless they're desperate for the last choice in a three for �15 deal. Better still, if you're a Thurman completist, and must see this unmitigated tosh, just save your money and rent it (you'll thank me later).

DVD extras: standard making-of and casting featurettes, a behind-the-scenes look at the visual effects of the 'shark-throwing' scene, six deleted scenes (none of much worth), some trailers, and the music video for No Sleep Tonite by Molly McQueen.

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