Posted: 09/28/2008

 

My Best Friend’s Girl

(2008)

by Laura Tucker




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I guess the secret’s out. Now we know how all those bad dates happen. As soon as My Best Friend’s Girl started, I thought, “Uh-huh,” feeling like I’d somehow been there before. Not exactly like the situation in the movie, but who among us hasn’t been the victim of a really bad date and left, thinking, “What the…?”

Before I applaud the writing and the acting in My Best Friend’s Girl, I have to give it up to the casting. Every part in this film seems perfectly cast. Plain and simply, Dane Cook plays a great ass, Tank, a bored air purifier salesman who moonlights “tanking” dates. Guys that have really screwed up with their women pay him to take out their girlfriends and be an even bigger ass than they were. That makes the girls realize what a great guy the boyfriend is and they readily take him back. And if casting him wasn’t perfect enough, casting Alec Baldwin as his father, a professor in women’s studies, who proves that that chip is definitely off the old block, just completes it.

Tank’s best friend, Dustin, is played by Jason Biggs, better know from the American Pie series as Jim Levenstein. These guys are so close they consider themselves cousins, even though they don’t share a drop of common blood. Their families were close while they were growing up, so it’s almost more like they resemble brothers. Dustin hasn’t dated a lot, but he becomes enamored with a coworker he’s dating, telling her he loves her before they’ve even had sex.

This coworker, Alexis, is played by Kate Hudson, who always does well in romantic comedies, playing strong women. She suggests to Dustin that they slow it down after this. He becomes so distraught that in a last ditch effort, he hires Tank to date Alexis and work his magic. Alexis’ roommate, Ami (Lizzy Caplan), who seems to possess an amazing ability to talk just like Juno, convinces her to have a few drinks before going out, and by the time Tank gets there to pick her up, she’s sloshed.

I guess by mentioning the great casting, it also somewhat took care of the good acting in the film. They were all expertly cast and played their parts well. As for the writing, the lines given to Dane Cook are great, yet much of it is unfit to print online here. Nonetheless, it’s both funny and clever.

Tank tries all his tricks to turn Alexis off, including playing the 2 Live Crew song, “Pop That …” For some reason I can say that last word, but can’t seem to write it or type it. Drunk Alexis turns around and tells him she loves that song and almost lost her virginity to it. Everything he does after this just absolutely makes me cringe in my chair thinking about it, but somehow, through her drunkenness, it only makes Alexis want him. Because of this, Tank finds himself attracted to her, and trying to figure out what to do with the conflict of her being Dustin’s girlfriend.

While we see that side of Tank that he wants us to think is more him than not, being in every relationship only for the sex and treating girls so badly, we know it’s not really him. It takes one of his “victims” to call him out on it and tell him while he thinks he’s anti-Cupid, he’s really a closet romantic.

There’s a certain charm to this movie if you can find it through the raunchiness. I was willing to sit and wait for it, as I could tell it was coming. It seems to give us hope that maybe all those jerks we dated weren’t really jerks, but were being paid to be so. And if we kiss enough frogs, we’ll find the frogs are really okay after all.

Laura Tucker is a freelance writer providing reviews of movies and television, among other things, at Viewpoints and Reality Shack, and operates a celebrity gossip blog, Troubled Hollywood. She is also an Associate Instructor and 1st dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts.



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