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STUDIO: New Line
RUNNING TIME: 94 Minutes
• Deleted Scenes
• 9 Behind the Scenes Featurettes
• Feature Commentary
• Blooper Reel
• Alternate Ending
• DVD-ROM Features
It’s every rom-com featuring a guy who comes back to win his high school sweetheart…except with a fat suit! Cause…ya know…fat suits are funny.
Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris, Amy Smart, Chris Klein and Christopher Marquette
Chris Brander was a little on the heavy side in high school and was totally in love with Jamie Palmino. Too bad Jamie just wants to be friends. Fast forward, Chris has dropped his weight, is a super-rich record executive and comes back to town with one goal – to finally win the girl of his dreams. Hilarity ensues (seriously – it really does).
So, earlier I made the comparison that this was basically every other movie you’ve seen that had the same premise (and I know there’s a lot of them but I can’t think of one at the moment – sue me) and because of that I’m not going to get all expository. We all know the story – kid loves girl in high school, ends up stuck in the friend zone, comes back later, tries to win her back, has some competition from a guy who’s really a creep but our leading lady doesn’t see it, joke, joke, joke and whammo – they kiss. However, there are a few differences with this one.
You don’t have to hear it to know she missed the note. Kinda like the real Ashlee Simpson.
First, there’s the aforementioned fat suit, which is used to wonderful effect. Mainly because of the second thing on my "Why this movie is better than the others" list; and that is talent. Starting from the bottom and working our way up is Amy Smart. I say Amy is at the bottom, not because she doesn’t do a good job, but because her part doesn’t require a lot. She’s the typical All-American girl next door and she’s essentially nothing more than a line deliverer. She doesn’t get many (if any) jokes, she has no physical comedy, but she does what she has to do well. She fits.
Next up is Chris Klein, who’s known mainly for his pretty-boy roles (a la Nova in American Pie) but here he really gets to steal a few scenes, playing the two-faced Dusty, Chris’ competition for Jamie. He does a nice job of switching from the Nova role into a much more sinister dude who steals juice from stroke victims and gropes strange women in bars while threatening to beat up their boyfriends. Dusty is a great little character (if not a little clichéd) and Klein plays the transitions seamlessly. That brings us to Anna Faris, who again is known for her more soft-spoken role as Cindy in the Scary Movie series. Here she gets to let a whole other side come forth playing the bitchy, loud, rude, sex-starved, narcissistic Ashlee Simpson-esque Samantha James. It’s a nice new direction for her and she jumped into the role head-first.
Turns out the private booths weren’t so private.
Rounding out our cast is Christopher Marquette and Ryan Reynolds as the Brander brothers. The chemistry between these two is undeniable and their interactions are probably the funniest moments in a film full of funny moments. But, as expected, Reynolds stands head and shoulders above them all. His timing is impeccable, his progression from High School Chris to future Chris and back again is delightfully understated and his performance while in the fat suit has got to be one of the best I’ve ever seen. I expect big things for Reynolds as he’s shown a lot of range, what with this and Van Wilder and being able to hold the serious role in the (underrated, in my opinion) Amityville Horror remake.
Now, I know I spent a lot of time talking about the acting, but that’s what really shines in this flick. The writing is clever but not phenomenal and when it could have potentially fallen flat it was the delivery that saved it. The cinematography is very nice and with almost the entire film set in snow they were really able to capture that winter vibe, especially with the Palomino’s Christmas Display.
In the end it’s definitely worth a rental, and maybe even worth adding to your collection. That all depends on re-watchability and personally, I’ve seen it about 3 times now and even though some of the jokes did lose their punch I still found myself incredibly entertained each time. It would probably make a great party flick.
Chris knew he shouldn’t, but he was just so damn hungry.
The strayed a little from the theatrical poster art, replacing fat Chris and Jamie on white with future Chris and Jamie on white. He’s trying to kiss her, she’s pushing him off – generic.
In the features department, I think this would qualify as stacked. There’s a commentary (great stuff), a Blooper Reel (not as great but still amusing), NINE behind the scenes featurettes (that while not incredibly long are informative and fun to watch, if only once), a "Jamie Smiles" video (LAME), some deleted scenes and an alternate ending. All-in-all a great set of features and NO recycled material. In fact, the people on the commentary actually make a point to say "You’ll hear about this in the featurettes so I won’t cover it now, I’ll talk about this instead." Thumbs-up to you, commentary guys!
And this one’s for me.
8.0 out of 10