Feast for hopeless romantics

13 March 2015
Author  

As I sit here, twiddling my thumbs for the past hour deciding on what to say about Playing it Cool (previously known as A Many Splintered Thing), this idea, no matter how cruel, seems very appealing.

There is not much to say about this movie because the description gives a good idea of what to expect. The movie is about a scriptwriter, who does not believe in love who is asked to write a rom-com.

You have to be a die-hard romantic not to see this movie for the cliché it is and still have it sweep you up in the romance of it all.

Sure, the cast consisting of Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Anthony Mackie, Aubrey Plaza, Patrick Warburton, Ioan Gruffudd, Martin Starr, Topher Grace and Giovanni Ribisi, does stir some excitement.

Separately, they have starred in a few successful comedies. Plaza’s character Mallory, who is a quarter past psychotic, seemed to have been written specifically for her because after all we have all grown to love her deadpan comedy.

No other actor comes to mind when thinking of someone who could have portrayed Starr’s character, Lyle.

Starr has that natural bum-esque feel to him. Separating actor from character, the actor looks like the kind of person who could live in a van and date old women.

But the characters, no matter how great, were not enough to save the plot from itself. It was always destined to be a “been there, done that” kind of movie.

The movie had a few good punch lines that earned laughs, but one could credit that to the actors. They have the kind of faces and demeanour that makes you want to laugh even before they say anything.

The movie’s saving grace was the fact that it’s easy to relate to if you’re cynical and sarcastic like I am, but when you live in the real world you know that it will have a happy ending like Evans.

It portrays the classic human condition of wanting something you can’t have, and the more life denies you the object of your desire, the more you want it. What’s there not to relate to?

However, what almost had me tearing my eyes out was that the movie played into the very outdated clichés that the protagonists claimed they hated so much.

Running frantically through the airport, racing to the altar to stop the couple before they say their ‘I dos’, and have a bunch of random strangers cheer you on as you make your declaration of love. You know those kinds of clichés.

At least they had slight twists to them, for example, the crowd was all in his head as he was racing through the airport to make his flight to her.

What I could have done without in the movie is Evans’ constant narration of what was unfolding in the movie. I love Evans, he is a good actor and sexy as hell with abs I could use as my washboard, but I became sick of hearing his voice. It was not rocket science, I’m sure we would have been able to discern what was going on in the film without him narrating.

Like I said, if you’re hopeless romantic, who buys into all of Hollywood’s clichés’, you have found your goldmine in this movie.
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