Lionsgate // 2008 // 100 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // January 13th, 2009
Bad boys finish first.
"The truth will set you free, but before it does, it's gonna piss you off!"
Dustin (Jason Biggs, American Pie) is a mild-mannered nice guy who is dating the girl of his dreams. Her name is Alexis (Kate Hudson, Fool's Gold), and Dustin thinks she is perfect in pretty much every way. Even though they have only been dating for five weeks, he is convinced that she is the one for him. He loves her, and he thinks it's time to tell her so. He works up the courage, and suddenly blurts out the truth over lunch one day: "I love you!" Oops. Big mistake. Alexis quickly backs away, and informs Dustin that he is, "Mr. Right, but not really Mr. Right Now." She wants more time to have some fun with other guys.
Dustin is crushed by this, and is willing to do anything to get Alexis back. So, he turns to his best friend Tank (Dane Cook, Mr. Brooks). Tank has a particularly controversial reputation. He's such a selfish, mean-spirited, crude, ugly jerk that he makes just about any other guy seem like an absolute dream. Dustin hires Tank to spark up a relationship with Alexis. The idea is that Tank will treat Alexis horribly, and that she'll respond by running back into Dustin's arms. Unfortunately, the plan isn't going to work out smoothly. Alexis doesn't respond the way she is supposed to respond, and Tank suddenly finds himself falling in love for the very first time. I smell trouble brewing.
Once, I went to the dentist, and the dentist started drilling in my mouth before administering any sort of painkiller. Another time, a doctor did more or less the same thing when beginning to put stitches in my leg. Yet another time, I tripped through a glass door and wound up getting bits and pieces of glass stuck in my arms in legs. On a different day, I was hit in the chest by a 50-pound box of frozen chicken, and my sternum was cracked. Just a couple years before that, a fastball caught me off guard and broke my nose. What is the relevance of all this, other than revealing the fact that yours truly is a something of a klutz? Nothing, really. I only want to make it known that none of these pains were quite as bad as sitting through My Best Friend's Girl.
Perhaps that sounds just a bit extreme. You may think I'm just another guy overreacting to the cutesy contrivances of the rom-com genre. Oh no, you really have no idea. At one point in this movie, a line of dialogue takes a shot at the ever-sentimental Nora Ephron. I'm cool with the idea of taking a shot at Nora Ephron, but not in this particular instance. My Best Friend's Girl isn't fit to lick Nora Ephron's boot. It's a horrible, horrible train wreck of a movie that somehow manages to fail on almost every single level.
I loathed just about every character in this movie. It's hard enough to like Dane Cook in any sort of movie, but watching Dane Cook play a character described as "the world's biggest a-hole," is absolutely insufferable. The only think worse than watching Cook essay this loathsome creep is watching Cook receiving generous redemption courtesy of the contrived screenplay. Meanwhile, Jason Biggs is technically supposed to be "the good guy," but his emotionally abusive and stalker-ish techniques make him equally repulsive. That leaves poor Kate Hudson, whose personality swings like an erratic pendulum at the pleasure of the plot. One moment she's delighting in every single crass think Tank does, and another moment she acts like he's a real jerk. One moment she is an experimental sex addict, and another moment she just wants to be in a stable relationship with a nice person. The character has very little consistency, and the actions of everyone in the film are often quite suspect.
Does My Best Friend's Girl realize that it is even dumber than the films it mocks from time to time? In addition to the aforementioned Nora Ephron remark, there's another moment in which Dane Cook smarmily makes fun of the "meet cute" scenes in movies. A meet cute is nothing compared to the B.S. that this movie tries to pull off. The worst sequence in the movie takes place at a wedding, in which Tank behaves as badly as possible, Dustin has a random emotional outburst, and Alexis acts befuddled. Is it possible to classify this stuff as intellectual torture porn? In a way, the film itself is a bit like Tank. He's such a lowlife that he makes everyone around him look great by comparison. Likewise, everyone in this film is so selfish and stupid that even the dumbest of audience members are permitted to feel good about their own decision-making and relationship skills.
The hi-def transfer is a mixed bag. Blacks are deep, and facial detail is pretty solid. Unfortunately, there's also a considerably high level of grain at times, particularly during the early scenes. The film is pretty unimaginative from a visual standpoint, so there's nothing here that really makes the viewer appreciate the format. Sorry, but the film just doesn't really benefit from being presented in 1080p. I was a little surprised to discover that a crass little comedy like this received a 7.1 sound mix. I was even more surprised to discover that the 7.1 sound mix is largely underwhelming and occasionally unsatisfying. The audio is poorly-balanced during a few of the montages, as a few of the songs threaten to drown out the dialogue completely. Huh.
Lots of extras are onhand. First of all, both the theatrical and unrated versions of the movie are included. The unrated version is about 12 minutes longer, and adds nothing of interest. The unrated version is given two rather uninteresting audio commentaries. The first comes from Jason Biggs, writer Jordan Cahan, and producer Greg Lessons, who all unsuccessfully attempt to justify the movie. Director Howie Deutch carries the second track by himself, and starts to become pretty tiresome after a while. Four featurettes are included: "Back to Boston, Where it All Began," "Men and Women: The Good, the Bad, and the Cast," "On a Scale of A-to-Z: Like Father, Like Son," and "The Prom: America's Awkward Rite of Passage." The disc is equipped with a new BD-Live feature that allows viewers to blog about the film using shapes, images, and text. An lame interactive game and an unfunny gag reel wrap things up. Oh, and you also get a shiny frisbee that contains a digital copy of the film.
Much as I would like to tell you that the film is completely without value in every single way, that wouldn't be 100% honest. Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) has an amusing small role as Tank's perpetually horny father, and Riki Lindhome (Changeling) manages to turn another small supporting character into the only credible character in the film. The ship isn't saved, but these two combine forces to keep it afloat for about ten minutes of it's running time.
A revealing recommendation from someone named "Otterpay" on the IMDb message boards: "If you like Dane Cook stand up, you'll love this movie. Just don't take your girlfriend if she is boring and stuck up, chances are she'll be offended." The film is a train wreck. Watching this film in 1080p doesn't make it one bit better. No one needs to own this disc, regardless of the ample supplemental material.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p Widescreen)
* DTS HD 7.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Deleted Scenes
* Interactive Game
* Digital Copy