Jay Baruchel is the gentlest of the Apatow geeklings, more a mascot to sweathogs like Seth Rogen than an equal (his spindly boxer in Million Dollar Baby looked beatable by even Hilary Swank). So it makes sense that Baruchel’s first star vehicle, a twitchy, frequently funny affair, emphasises the scrawn factor.
She’s Out of My League casts him as a polite Pittsburgh airport-security worker, Kirk, dwarfed by the epaulettes on his uniform and the pushy advice of his man-gang. When bombshell traveller Molly (Eve) makes her way through the gate, she’s seen as a human being only by Kirk, who returns her iPhone and boggles at the possibility of her being attracted to him.
You might feasibly expect – indeed, hope for – this to play out like a zanier Say Anything (judging from Baruchel’s rawness, he does, too). But we’re hardly in that romantic ballpark; the promising material, penned by the writers of the under-rated Sex Drive, skews closer to Farrelly brothers slapstick than sweetness.
One gag involving a loving act of grooming by a heterosexual friend will make you want to vomit; you sense that The Hangover loomed large over this production. Still, Eve has a true flair for zingers, and the movie’s heart survives intact. Joshua Rothkopf