Nate Torrence and Jay Baruchel were in a particularly game and silly mood when I spoke to them early in the morning on February 22, 2010. Hence, the inordinate amount of giggling and guffaws as they pondered the way art does and doesn’t imitate life in SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, as well as why special skills are key to a successful Hollywood career, how both laughter and acting can cause headaches, and the putative subtexts of hairstyles.
There is an old saying that goes if something seems to good to be true, it probably is. It’s a saying that will get quite a workout over the course of SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, an amiable romantic comedy that pits common sense against romantic reverie while also examining the perils of being a moodle and the implications of the dao of love.
The moodle, a cross between a man and a poodle, is Kirk (Baruchel), a sweet security agent at the Pittsburgh airport. He’s a young man with middling ambitions career-wise, and middling expectations romance-wise. The dao is the rating system worked out by his lifelong pal, Stainer (T.J. Miller), the one that assigns numbers to potential lovers, and assigns rules about matching them up. Kirk, by common consent, including his, is a five. A hard five. The best he can do, per the dao, is a seven, the which was his ex, Marnie (Lindsay Sloane), the woman who dumped him, but not his family, who favor her company, and that of her new boyfriend, over Kirk’s.
SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE skirts the gummy shoals of the profane. There are a few jokes that do not bear describing, though a sequence that has Devon shaving Kirk’s privates so that Molly will think that he is more sexually experienced than is the case, is handled with an innocence that is as adorable as it is unexpected, just like the film itself. Unlike several higher profile attempts at romantic comedy drama, this little flick actually achieves what they missed, it’s heartwarming, laugh-out-loud funny, and actually sort of romantic in a puckishly real world way.