MY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL
|Tank is so utterly obnoxious, men hire him to date thier ex-girlfriends. They'll have such a bad time, they'll coming running back to the guy who wasn't so bad after all.||score
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1 (unwatchable) to 5 (unmissable)
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Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, Jason Biggs, Alec Baldwin
Rating / Running Time
MA / 101 minutes
(c) moviereview 2006-2008
ABN 72 775 390 361
(Dane Cook) is a complete arsehole. We know it from the very start when
a date gives him ten good reasons why he shouldn’t be allowed
inside her apartment. He celebrates his capacity to be an arsehole
– “emotional terrorism, it’s what I’m good
at” – and has turned his obnoxious skill-set into a revenue
stream. Jilted men hire Tank to give their ex-girlfriends such an
outrageously bad time, they’ll come running back to a warm, safe
place. Mr. Fix It wears a new suit.
Springing as it does from a deeply misogynistic layer of disquiet, there’s small wonder that Howard Deutch’s comedy elicits so few laughs. And those it does are a reaction to the idea that the producers would have thought Tank’s current behaviour funny. When his flatmate (Jason Biggs) books him to win back the affection of a workmate (Kate Hudson), the expected happens. And therein lies Deutch’s secondary problem, how to generate freshness from an extraordinarily familiar story, and one that idiotically signposts its intentions from the title then reinforces the notion with repetitive use of The Cars’ titular song.
There are no winners, just more bad ideas. As Tank’s relationship inevitably falters, he turns to the old block (Alec Baldwin) - a repugnantly foul-mouthed, hypocritical tutor of women’s studies - for guidance. It adds padding to the padding, and gives Baldwin some fun chewing scenery while swearing a lot. Glad someone’s having a good time.
It’s pretty hard to tell what My Best Friend’s Girl aims to say about couples in general, and arseholes in particular. Something about women needing an emotional savaging to realise their place in the world. One thing is certain, steer well clear of the nasty ideas screenwriter Jordan Cahan has about relationships and how they work.
// COLIN FRASER