My Super Ex-Girlfriend


Uma Thurman as Jenny Johnson/G-Girl
Luke Wilson as Matt Saunders
Anna Faris as Hannah Lewis
Rainn Wilson as Vaughn Haige
Eddie Izzard as Professor Bedlam/Barry
Stelio Savante as Leo
Mike Iorio as Lenny
Mark Consuelos as Steve
Wanda Sykes as Carla Dunkirk

Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson) has been spectacularly unlucky at love, getting involved with one crazy, unsuitable woman after another. His crazy alarm starts to go off again when he starts dating Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman) but he’s been alone so long that he decides to give things a chance and soon finds himself in over his head as it turns out that not only is Jenny super-crazy, she’s also super-strong and can fly.

It’s a pretty standard romantic comedy fare with nothing really original to make it stand apart from the pack, despite trying to also be a send up of superheroes by investigating the ribald antics superheroes could be getting up to when they’re not saving the world. It’s not that successful at either goal, and feels for the most part like a slapdash affair. The effects are woefully inadequate for what they’re attempting, which wouldn’t matter if they weren’t such a requirement for the plot – particularly the climax – but they do and they are. It’s hard to tell whether it’s intentional or just a reflection of the budget involved, but it doesn’t work either way.

Luke Wilson actually manages to be engaging and charming as desperate, then befuddled, then scared Matt starts to understand the amount of trouble he is in. Most of which he wouldn’t be in if he didn’t constantly follow the advice of Vaughn (Rainn Wilson) the horrible-but-funny male best friend that no one should ever listen to which these type of films seem to require. Wilson pulls it off better than most and gets some of the only real laughs in the film, but it’s still a bad cliché.

Thurman does not fare as well Jenny (a.k.a. G-Girl). It’s supposed to be both funny and scary just how emotionally unstable she is, but mainly it’s just scary. Jenny is simultaneously the symbol of female empowerment and the embodiment of every bad crazy-woman stereotype there is. She’s needy, she’s jealous, she’s manipulative and when it comes to the object of her affection, completely amoral. It’s not flattering to say the least, and it’s not particularly funny.

She’s made this way on purpose both for the plot to work and as a counterpoint to nice, stable Hannah (Anna Faris) who has some decent chemistry with Wilson, but is kind of flat otherwise. It’s supposed to be satire, I think, but mostly it’s just mean-spirited without much point or humor… unless you’ve recently been through a particularly nasty breakup, I suppose.

The problem is it’s a one-trick-pony – Matt’s girlfriend has superpowers. There are one or two good bits made out of that – particularly when G-Girl lobs a live great white shark at Matt in one of her characteristic fits of rage – but most of it is flat and repetitive. The sex-with-a-super-strong-woman bit isn’t particularly funny the first time around, and by the third time it’s a chore to watch.

Eventually Matt gets so desperate he hooks up with her arch-nemesis Professor Bedlam (Eddie Izzard) to concoct a plot against her. There’s actually the potential for some good dark comedy there, but the film blows it in a fairly standard romantic comedy ending.

It’s a decent premise for a film, but not much is made of it as Reitman and his crew play it safe every step of the way. “My Super Ex-Girlfriend’ isn’t awful, just thoroughouly mediocre and forgettable. And really, what could be worse than that.

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Weekend: Nov. 15, 2018, Nov. 18, 2018

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