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If You Think You're a Ten...You Are??

Movie Title: She's Out of My League (2010)
Spoilers: No

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We've seen it before. Standing in line at a checkout counter or waiting to be seated at a fancy restaurant is a couple, a mismatched couple. They stick out like a broken broom handle in a maid's closet.

She is blond or brunette, with flowing hair, well accessorized, and obviously a head-turner. Next to her is a contrasted sight, a male, a stubby little man with glasses and a squished face, maybe even an outright ugly fella. The prevailing thought: what the heck does she see in him? Maybe he's got something below deck that really anchors the ship, but you have your doubts.

To most of us, this only becomes bothersome to behold in movies or on TV, or if you have an active social life, most of it spent in clubs or bars. The "rating system" with dates is encoded into your brain like a bar code on a box of cookies at Albertsons. So you notice when the system doesn't seem to work. You don't see it often, but when you do, you remember it.

Remember NYPD Blue? Sure you do. Detective Andy Sipowicz hooks up with Connie McDowell. That surprised a few of us as one of the more odd TV matches. The rest of us don't spend that much time thinking about it except to say that with real people, unequal matches are usually the result of the better-looking one's low self-esteem in thinking they couldn't do any better. Do I sound vain? Deal with it. That's reality.

There are levels of attraction. Usually, we stay within the boundaries of what we know we can achieve in "the hunt" for a mate. This is evolution at work. You desire hotness because hotness means good health, which translates to better offspring. You may be in want for something better, but you don't waste energy hunting for game that is too out of your league. It's a waste of energy, and that means less energy to do the deed with someone you actually have a chance of nabbing in the sack.

What is not a waste of energy is watching She's Out of My league, a funny and entertaining film about the unwritten rules of the often self-esteem-crushing game of finding companionship. What is dating if not a hands-on experiment, a lesson, a reminder of your desirability or lack thereof? It's cruel, I tell you...cruel.

Kirk (Jay Baruchel) is a guy of average looks who meets the girl of his dreams, a beautiful and successful professional party planner named Molly (Alice Eve). She's "a hard ten," and thanks to his loyal friends, he is given round-the-clock reminders of just how out-of-his-range Molly is.

Kirk works security at an airport, despite the fact that his life is ahead of him and he's college-bound with the potential to do more. Like his family, his friends are perpetual de-motivators. They do him a grave disservice in that they are forever subjected to a pedantic partygoer's wisdom about dating prospects.

So they may not be graced with balanced wisdom...but they are good friends and a finely blended selection of supporting characters, a sight to see on screen in this naturally spontaneous, fast-paced, and funny film where no one ever feels like they're being filmed.

The humor-inspiring cast is funny enough to make you want to laugh at them without making you sit quietly waiting for cheap laughs or a punchline. Only a select few times since 40-Year-Old Virgin has a movie about dating done as well. We won't do a roll call.

Regrettably, the script that knows no shame, with its sexual openness and overt obscenity, will prove to be too much for some viewers. I wasn't laughing every second of the way, but I was always amused. She's Out of My League dares to question what our culture and nature teaches us about selecting a mate.

Do we not often (wrongly) put on a pedestal the people we envy or admire? We do. In so doing, we build walls without warrant. Do not those closest to us give us the worst and most damaging advice? They do, hence that handy cliché about keeping your friends closer. 

It may come down to the (usually false) realization that if you think you're a ten, then maybe you are. Nature doesn't concur...but so what. Who is to say that there can't be plenty of self-made exceptions? It depends, in part, on your own level of self-confidence, as it does on your outlook. It depends on who you are and whether or not you will accept being classed as some mere number that reflects your worth.

(JH)

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Grade: B+ (3 ½ stars) Recommended!
Rated: R (for raunchy humor and sexual innuendos)
Director: Jim Field Smith
Summary: An average Joe meets the perfect woman, but his lack of confidence and the influence of his friends and family begin to pick away at the relationship.
Starring: Jay Baruchel "Kirk," Alice Eve "Molly," T.J. Miller "Stainer," Mike Vogel "Jack," Nate Torrence "Devon," Lindsay Sloane "Marnie," Kyle Bornheimer "Dylan," Jessica St. Clair "Debbie"
Genre: Comedy / Romance
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