If you see just one superhero romantic action comedy this year, I suppose My Super Ex-Girlfriend should be in contention. Luckily for the film, however, there really isn't too much competition to speak of.
Director Ivan Reitman's examination of the dangers of dumping an incredibly powerful vixen is just unique enough to accept as something
slightly more than an exploitation of perfect timing, though it clearly cashes in on the popularity of Superman Returns, the much more anticipated summer blockbuster released less than a month before it. I imagine the choice was between filming this and "My Girlfriend the Pirate," but Uma Thurman with an eye patch just wouldn't have the same effect.
This is not to say, however, that the film does not have its humorous moments. The cast is excellent, especially Luke Wilson as Matt Saunders, the unfortunate ex-boyfriend who unknowingly starts dating the most powerful woman in New York City, known to him as Jenny Johnson and to everyone else as the amazing G-Girl, played by Thurman.
Back in high school, Jenny Johnson was a dork, plain and simple, the kind that all the jocks and cheerleaders lined up to insult. One day, while attempting to lose her virginity to her only friend and fellow dork Barry Lambert at a "Lover's Peak" type hilltop, a meteorite happens to crash land just a few feet from the young lovers' car. For no reason at all, Jenny walks right up to the flaming ball of space trash and risks third degree burns by putting her hand right on the thing, only to receive super powers from her haphazard behavior rather than massive disfigurement. Instantly, G-Girl is born.
It seems like the only reason this name was chosen for Jenny's super counterpart is to make a cheap joke about whether or not the G stands for "G spot," as there is never any explanation for it given. Even more disappointing is Professor Bedlam, the new identity of Jenny's former high school pal Barry played by Eddie Izzard, who found a conveniently evil gimmick within the confines of his own full name, Barry Edward Lambert. After gaining super powers, Jenny simply forgot the awkward Barry even existed, and the grudge he held towards her afterward would later motivate him towards becoming the most notorious super villain in town. Strangely enough, despite how often he is referred to as such a well known evil figure, Professor Bedlam wrecks virtually no havoc throughout the entire film, providing no reason for anyone in the general public to even know who he is, let alone fear him; he just really seems to dislike Jenny Johnson.
After a few mysterious and intimate dates, including a humorous, super-powered sex scene that all but destroys the clueless Saunders' bed, unexplainable circumstances force Jenny to reveal her most important secret to her new boyfriend, a move that requires an enormous level of trust. Matt is at first enthralled by the real identity of his heroic mate, but soon sees the jealous and controlling nature of his girlfriend are too much to bear, after she suspects him of secretly longing for his very close co-worker, named Hannah Lewis and nicely played by Anna Faris.
Unable to handle her psychotic behavior any longer, Matt takes the biggest risk of his life by breaking up with Jenny, who begins using her powers not to save lives but to make Matt's a living hell. She swiftly ruins an important business presentation Matt has been diligently preparing for, steals his car with utmost ease, and even forces him to fight for his life against a wild animal in a radically unexpected scene that probably could've been more than it was.
"My Super Ex-Girlfriend" might just be a case of a movie trying to do too much, because it is a great many things all at the same time, but its failures are much too obvious to ignore. The saving grace, if there is one, lies not in the jokes derived from its absurd premise, which certainly had the potential to be memorably hilarious, but in the purely conversational interactions between the characters, which were consistently solid. Matt's best bud in the film, Vaughn Haige, was played brilliantly by Rainn Wilson, despite a wardrobe that didn't quite fit the macho attitude of his character, and even the often annoying Wanda Sykes gave a commendable performance as one of Matt's office superiors, Carla Dunkirk.
Unfortunately, the script itself is one that not even a perfect cast, whether super-powered or not, could sufficiently save.
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