By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox.
My Super Ex-Girlfriend
My Super Ex-Girlfriend is the most awesome comedy of the year. I really hope I get quoted in the ads for this and Clerks II in the same weekend so I can field everybody’s questions on how both movies can be the best comedies of the year. Kevin Smith won’t mind, because he’d love this. It’s a comic book movie where people talk about relationships.
My Super Ex-Girlfriend Review
It’s your standard boy meets girl story except that the girl is a superhero. So Matt Sanders (Luke Wilson) tries to win the adorable Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman) and circumstances get them together. But Jenny is actually G-Girl, New York’s female equivalent of Superman with all the powers it entails.
Their courtship plays off of all the benefits and pitfalls of super powers, until Jenny proves to be obsessive, paranoid, controlling and just plain crazy. Then their breakup plays through all the “girl loses boy” clichés on the grand scale of comic book movies.
Basically, everything that might be annoying in a romantic comedy works here. The awkward courtship pays off with a perfectly timed, subtle display of G-Girl’s superpowers. The idea that there could possibly be something wrong with this absolutely perfect woman is exaggerated to a ridiculous degree, and yet they still address how hot she is.
Anna Faris as the best friend who you know is actually perfect for Matt but he just can’t tell her works because his distractions are outrageous. And they actually have perfect chemistry and her thoughtfulness is amazing. Plus, they’re playing with rom-com clichés so there has to be the perfect friend. She’s hot too with leggy curves busting out of her grey business dress.
The special effects are cute. Sucking a cab back to pick them up, speed stripping, drying the toenails and slamming the bed are all effective little gestures about common dating routines. Bigger gags deal with typical petty retaliations like messing with your ex’s car in outrageous ways. Jokes about superheroes looking blurry finally pay off a decade of bad CGI work in comic book films.
The caper is totally perfect too. Often, Ivan Reitman lets the caper overwhelm the story. I still don’t get why Twins was about some criminal switcheroo deal. But in My Super Ex-Girlfriend, the caper is natural. Of course there has to be a supervillain, but he affects the story in banal ways. He’s both the supervillain and the jilted lover and mixing both clichés creates a hilariously businesslike foil.
Uma Thurman rules. As a superhero she clotheslines the bad guys and uses super speed and strength to take care of business. She’s fantastic in blonde super-mode but also completely adorable as the brunette Jenny with glasses. Hopefully she can bring back the brunette with glasses look because it’s so hot.
Even in full on crazy mode, Uma is totally lovable. She can say things like chainsaw up the ass and she can endanger innocent lives and the audience can still think, “God, I want to be with her.”
Finally, Luke Wilson is in his element. His persona of being a little wussy and complaining is normal in this outrageous world. That’s how a person should react to these things going on, as opposed to movies like Alex and Emma where there’s nothing that clever to react to.
It may surprise viewers to know that the break-up section of the film is mostly the third act. It’s about an hour of romance and 30 minutes of break up. It totally works though because there’s equal ground to be mined from both sections of a superhero love story.
If anyone is offended by the portrayal of women as crazy, needy freaks, they’re really missing out on a wonderful satire. One, there are real things that people do to sabotage their relationships. Satire has to be outrageous. Two, the women are the powerful ones in this film. The men just try to survive.
The level of skill executed in this satire of both real relationships and movie relationships makes this Ivan Reitman’s best movie since Ghostbusters. The insight blows my mind as much as the intricately brilliant dialogue of a Kevin Smith movie.