Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Charmless "My Best Friend's Girl" not anyone's best

My Best Friend's Girl (2008) 
101 min., rated R.

A misogynistic, unappealing marriage of frat-boy smut and romantic-comedy clich├ęs, "My Best Friend's Girl" ought to have been left in whatever hole it was found in. Still in stand-up comic mode, Dane Cook embodies vulgar smarm more than ever playing Tank Turner, a boorish, self-described “professional asshole” who gets paid by recently dumped men to take out their ex-girlfriends and treat them like last week's trash so they'll come running back to the formers. What a highbrow plan! (Gentlemen hoping to be assholes, take note.) His latest client is his roommate and best friend, sentimental, smothering non-ladies' man Dustin (Jason Biggs), who's in love with an ambitious co-worker, Alexis (Kate Hudson, who needs to find a new agent), he's been semi-dating for five weeks. No doubt, Alexis falls for Tank because the script tells her to. 

First-time screenwriter Jordan Cahan and director Howard Deutch forget to add likable characters, funny humor, or anything resembling romance to this charmless, witless rom-com bomb. Hudson's light charm goes out the window here; Cook is a smug, disgusting, and obnoxious pig; and Biggs comes off as a creepy, pathetic puppy dog: why should we like or give a flying hoot about these annoying, pitiful people? Alec Baldwin has some sleazy moments as Tank's horndog father, and if anything, Lizzy Caplan (as Hudson's unemployed, chain-smoking roommate) is the funniest spot in the movie, spouting off snarky barbs. Hudson singing 2 Live Crew's “Pop That Pussy,” an eye-brow shaving mishap, and a date at a sacrilegious pizza joint called Cheesus Crust are momentarily amusing, but it's sad when the biggest laugh doesn't come until the end credits. "My Best Friend's Girl" gives the otherwise appealing '70s tune of the same name by The Cars (which is played throughout ad nauseam) a bad name. 

Grade: D +

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