Now That’s SUPER!

by Alan Rapp on July 21, 2006

in Movie Reviews 

Sometimes you go into a film dreading the worst and are pleasantly surprised by the result.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout Ivan Reitman’s new super-hero/comic extravaganza – My Super Ex-Girlfriend.  In a year with V for Vendetta, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Superman Returns who would have thought that this would be the best comic book movie of the year?

My Super Ex-Girlfriend
Custom Rating

Ivan Reitman‘s recent directoral record has been rocky – he hasn’t directed a really good film since the year I graduated from high school (1993’s Dave).  But here, despite all reason, he delivers the goods.  He gets the super-hero model right along with understanding how constantly saving people might play on a person’s mind and nerves, creating humorous results.  And it remembers to bring the FUN of super-powers – something Superman Returns sorely lacked through must of it’s two and a half hour running time.

Matt Sanders (Luke Wilson) is your average film nice guy.  He works hard, is compassionate and smart, has a crush on a female co-worker, Hannah (Anna Faris), who is involved with an underwear model.  He also has a lecherous womanizing best friend (Rainn Wilson).  His life is rather ordinary, but all of that changes when he meets Jenny Jones (Uma Thurman).

Jenny seems a little needy and a couple of marbles short of a full bag, but she’s nice and the two get along.  As the relationship deepens Matt finds her odd behavior scary until he learns her secret – Jenny is actually the super-hero G-Girl!  With the truth in the open things get back to normal until Jenny’s neurotic jealousy and her evil arch-nemisis Professor Bedlam (Eddie Izzard) both start disrupting Matt’s world.

When Matt breaks up with Jenny he finds that a scorned super-woman is even worse than the regular kind.  What will Matt do?  Will he make peace with Jenny?  Will he take Bedlam up on his offer to get rid of G-Girl?  Will he ever admit his feelings to Hannah?

The film has a comic undertone that works so well I was grinning from ear-to-ear for most of the film.  It’s cheesy, corny, and fun, but it takes the characters seriously and that makes all the difference.  Thurman is a little whiny in her performance (but nowhere near as bad as the trailers suggest), but with that we get exploration of the reasons behind her behavior and one pretty darned good origin story that Stan Lee himself would be proud of!

Even the small parts have nice comic touches such as Wanda Sykes playing Matt’s boss or Margaret Anne Florence as the recurring role of the sexy barmaid who has caught Vaughn’s eye.  And Anna Faris is just terrific here as she breaks out of those dumb blonde roles she seems forever mired in and and plays a character with some brains and heart.

All that and some super-cool fight sequences on the streets of New York which will make fans of Supeman II giggle with joy.

So far this is easily the best comic book move of the year.  After dealing with the mixture of good and bad in Superman Returns and V for Vendetta (and the utter disaster of X-Men: The Last Stand) it’s nice to simply enjoy a super-hero flick.  What a great surprise to find in the middle of this rather lackluster summer!

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