Rating: * *
Verdict: Struggles to find a balance between being a romantic comedy and a loutish, irreverent comedy.
If you haven't come across American comedian Dane Cook before now, then his over-the-top performance in this loutish comedy should etch him firmly in your mind.
A veteran of the stand-up comedy circuit and with films Dan in Real Life, Good Luck Chuck and Employee of the Month to his credit, Cook is now apparently regarded as a 'leading man'. If nothing else, this comedy shows he is happy to hog the limelight.
My Best Friend's Girl is a crude, offensive and occasionally funny comedy. It could be inspired by the work of Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Superbad), but there is a significant difference. Apatow's films are filled with inoffensive and affable characters, but with My Best Friend's Girl director Howard Deutch (The Whole Ten Yards) and screenwriter Jordan Cahan have missed the mark. The result is shock tactics making you cringe, rather than laugh.
Dane Cook is Tank, whose main talent in life is an ability to offend women. Calling himself an 'emotional terrorist' Tank is available for hire by recently dumped men, where he accidentally meets their ex-girlfriends, entices them out on a date, and then gives them the worst night of their lives. The theory is the date it so awful these women will go straight back to their lying, cheating ex-boyfriends.
Enter Alexis (Hudson), the five-week love of Tank's cousin Dustin's life. Dustin is devastated when Alexis claims she "just wants to be friends", and promptly sets Tank loose on Alexis. The plan backfires when Alexis decides a little fun with Tank is just what she needs, and Tank, as hard as he tries, just can't resist Alexis' charms.
My Best Friend's Girl gets points for trying. Cook is good at being repulsive to women and the story attempts to be unpredictable, which is a lofty ambition for any romantic comedy.
It also features an outrageous cameo from Alec Baldwin as Tank's father, and its disregard for political correctness should be rewarded. Unfortunately, none of this is enough, and it just comes across as too mean, coarse and far-fetched to really enjoy.
Cast: Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, Alec Baldwin, Jason Biggs
Director: Howard Deutch
Running Time: 102 mins
Rating: R16 (Contains offensive language, sexual material and other content that may offend)
Screening: SkyCity, Hoyts and Berkeley Cinemas