|My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)
Starring: Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Anna Farris, Eddie Izzard, Rainn Wilson
Director: Ivan Reitman
No one needs “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” to be a hit more than Ivan Reitman, its director. To find the last decent movie he helmed, you have to go back 12 years to the Arnold/DeVito flick “Junior,” and to find the last good movie he directed, you have to go back 13 years to “Dave.” In his favor this time around, he has two great leads and the best story he’s seen in years, and while “Girlfriend” may prove to be a modest hit (either that, or Columbus moviegoers are very, very easily amused), remember two things: Reitman’s overall batting average is still around the Mendoza line, and “hit” only equates to “good” in the eyes of the studio’s marketing department. It is certainly an improvement on “Evolution,” but it’s complacent when it should be adventurous.
Luke Wilson stars as Matt, a designer with a tendency to attract psychotic women. After following the (awful) advice of his friend Vaughn (Rainn Wilson, a.k.a. Dwight from “The Office”), Matt tries to chat up Jenny (Uma Thurman) on the subway. Jenny blows Matt off until he saves the day when her purse is stolen, and so they go out on a date. Their courtship is a fast and strange one. Worse, Matt has no idea that Jenny is G-Girl, superhero extraordinaire. Unlike Clark Kent, however, Jenny isn’t just timid: she’s nuts, neurotic and clingy and possessive in the worst ways imaginable. At first, Jenny hides this side of her personality – somewhat, anyway –courtesy of some bed-shattering sex, but once she meets Matt’s cute co-worker Hannah (Anna Faris), she becomes insanely jealous and, well, let’s just say she brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” (four words: shark through the window). Matters are only made worse when G-Girl’s arch enemy Professor Bedlam (Eddie Izzard) starts squeezing Matt for help in taking G-Girl down.
There is serious fun to be had here, and Don Payne’s script only taps into a sliver of it. G-Girl is the world’s first insecure superhero, and it would be a fascinating thing to explore had they done so. Instead, G-Girl’s neurosis is merely a plot device, something that moves the story along until it is no longer necessary, at which point it is discarded, leaving a far greater story flaw in its place. And we will not even discuss the ending, which borrows liberally from a certain romcom that shall remain under an alias. Faulty storytelling aside, the movie is impeccably cast. Wilson wisely underplays the role of Matt, knowing that everything around him is so over-the-top that the best course of action is to react as subtly as possible. Thurman, meanwhile, has the perfect features to pull off both the exotic beauty of G-Girl and the mousy Jenny, and being a good little superhero clearly bores her. Wanda Sykes, though, is wasted as Matt’s sexual harassment-obsessed supervisor.
“My Super Ex-Girlfriend” isn’t as bad or as funny as it could have been, but while that could be construed as a somewhat good thing, the fact is that the movie’s potential was too great to see it squandered like this. Wilson and Thurman should equal comedy gold, not lame Mile High Club jokes. Jason Zingale’s Bottom Line assessment of the movie – “If there’s one film to see this summer starring a Wilson brother, it’s this one” (Luke’s Butterscotch Stallion of a sibling plundered through the execrable “You, Me and Dupree”) – was dead on the money, but given a choice, you should probably pass on both.
Aside from an extended shark sequence and five deleted scenes, this single-disc release is about as barebones as a turkey after Thanksgiving Day.