-MONTHLY VHS & DVD REVIEW-
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
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
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
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.