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Monday, 16 May 2016

Weekend TV Movie Review: My Super Ex-Girlfriend - Five (2006)

My Super Ex-Girlfriend
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Cast: Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Anna Faris, Rainn Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Wanda Sykes 
Studio: 20th Century Fox 
Estimated Worldwide Gross: $60,772,856

Plot: Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson) thinks he has found the perfect girlfriend in Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman), who just happens to be smart, sexy.... & a superhero. But when Jenny turns out to be a needy, neurotic mess, Matt wants to call it quits. Jenny is crushed by the news & will stop at nothing to exact sweet revenge. 

'A Slice of Rom-Com Pie with Superhero Shenanigans and Farce'

What would you do if you found out your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/pet (no, I'm only kidding!) was a superhero who fights crime? 

Directed by Ivan Reitman who gave us Ghostbusters, as well as comedy movies in Animal House, Stripes, Junior, Kindergarten Cop, Twins (all three movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), and to a lesser extent, 1997's Fathers Day' with Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, 2006's My Super Ex-Girlfriend was the then - latest in the line of farcical comedy-based flicks brought to us by the Canadian movie director. 

It's a fusion of the romantic sitcom with the comic book superhero theme/subject. 

Jenny Johnson is the female Clark Kent of the film - shy, inquisitive at times, but she is also and can be very needy and controlling. As G-Girl however, she can fly, bend steel bars, shoot lasers out of her eyes: she is the Supergirl with temperamental issues. 

I thought the use of the term gay by one of the characters in the opening scene as an alternative to saying lame, was lame and immature and wasn't amusing to me. I know it was a thing during the mid -00s, but then and now, it wasn't witty and funny in my eyes. 

Moving on, this film reminds me a lot of Mystery Men from the 1990s with Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria and William H. Macy, as in it is a comical take on the superhero theme. Whilst it is silly at times, as a whole, the superhero theme is still dealt with respect, whilst at the same time paying tribute to other comic book superheroes, especially female superheroes. 

The transformation of Jenny into G-Girl was pretty cool and the sex scene between Matt and Jenny was ridiculous. The special effects such as the flying in the air were excellent though. The action sequences weren't violent and are actually cartoonish and tongue 'n' cheek in nature for a comedy. There were a few funny and stupid scenes such as the shark throwing attack, which came out of nowhere and when G-Girl zapped the word 'd***' on Matt's forehead. If you have seen any of Ivan Reitman's other comedy movies, Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Animal House, Fathers' Day, then you'll be familiar with some of the farce and humour that is in My Super Ex-Girlfriend. It is your typical Reitman comedy film: outlandish, funny and silly at times. 

The image of Uma Thurman's G-Girl going after Matt with a chainsaw in a dream sequence was almost like a scene out of Kill Bill. Speaking of which, hot on the heels of Kill Bill, one couldn't have envisaged a stronger character performance and role as equally dynamic as G-Girl. With her physical acting mixed with special effects and crazy and humourous script, Thurman delivers the goods. Her performance was very surprising, not what I'd come to expect, but she was really good (and even better than her turn as Poison Ivy in the disastrous flop, Batman & Robin); and thus, has proven in this film that she too can play the funny role & have fun on set. 

The girl fight between G-Girl and Hannah in the street was relentlessly fun to watch. 

In this film, Matt comes across as the unfortunate guy who has to put up with clingy Jenny's behaviour; If one had been in a relationship with an ex-boyfriend/ girlfriend who was extremely difficult and neurotic with anger issues, then s/he would totally emphasize with Matt and how he felt towards Jenny. When Jenny finds out Matt wants to break up with her, all hell breaks loose and G-Girl loses it and frequently attacks Matt, whenever she finds and sees the opportunity. 

G-Girl herself is an oddity herself- she saves people's lives, as well as the city, kick bad guys ass, but make Jenny angry and she turns into an overly jealous, clingy and obsessive psycho woman.  

Luke Wilson was actually good in his role as Matt - the slightly dorkish, but softly-spoken, awkward nice guy. He has a deadpan quality that truly works in this comedy and Anna Faris played the more sane office worker, who has a soft spot for Matt. Eddie Izzard was all right, but he would have been better off putting on a British accent, instead of an American one- which sounded a little awkward. 

There are a few interesting plot twists that occur right towards the end of the film that kept me entertained, whilst the ending itself was nice, sort of that is and not what one would expect, especially from a superhero-type comedy. Overall, the script, whilst it could do with a lot more work and development, was not bad. But Reitman and the creators get credit for the concept & the premise was original and offbeat. 

As usual, this is your typical standard silly fare I'd come to expect from Reitman, and as silly and dumb as it was in places, it wasn't by any means boring.

Final Verdict:

A really good cast, as well as direction by Ivan Reitman, My Super Ex-Girlfriend is a refreshing take on and parodying of both the romantic comedy and superhero genres of movies. And thus, it is this twist, as well as the funny slapstick, special effects and humour and scenes that make this yet another example of a so-called rom-com that is a cut above the other so-called 'generic' romantic comedies. 

Both the leads Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson, as well as the supporting roles of Rainn Wilson, Wanda Sykes, Anna Faris and Eddie Izzard, lend themselves to their respective characters really well. This was the type of film I didn't expect Uma to be in, and it was good to see her embrace and unleash her fun side. 

And yet again, particularly in reference to some of his least successful movies, that despite the critical reception and reviews, Ivan Reitman manages to yield some laughs. Even though with this effort, most of it isn't as laugh-out-loud funny as some of his predecessors, the film offers a totally different spin to this sub- comedy genre formula. 

My Super Ex-Girlfriend is a slice of rom-com super-heroine pie that is surprisingly good entertainment and a barrel of fun.  


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