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MY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL, 2008
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MY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL
Movie Review
Directed by Howard Deutch
Starring Dane Cook, Kate Hutson, Jason Biggs
Lizzy Caplan and Alec Baldwin
Review by Eli Manning


SYNOPSIS:

Tank (Dane Cook) faces the ultimate test of friendship when his best friend hires him to take his ex-girlfriend (Kate Hudson) out on a lousy date in order to make her realize how great her former boyfriend is.

REVIEW:

My Best Friend's Girl is what you call a concept movie. When first time writer Jordan Cahan pitched his idea for the first time to one or some of the 11 credited (Eleven?) Producers in this film, including star Dane Cook, he would begin by saying it's a love triangle between two best friends who fall in love with the same woman. And one of the friends has a job/hobby that's only created in Hollywood, where is gets hired by men to be the BAD date right after a girl dumps them so in comparison to the bad guy, the man looks like a good guy!

It's the weight of averages and emotions as when something looks so bad, the okay ends up looking good if not great. I will be honest that I didn't expect much when I walked into the My Best Friend's Girl screening, but boy was I surprised. So surprised I consider this the best comedy of 2008 so far this year.

After seeing almost every single film that's come out of Hollywood this year, I have to say I haven't been completely impressed. One thing I have found is that many movies really don't go all the way. What I mean by that is that they try to play it safe in order to appeal to the greatest amount of people. And ironically those 'safe' movies don't make any money because I think people have had enough. My Best Friend's Girl goes all the way and tells the story it wants to tell.

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It does have 11 Producers, but only one credited screenwriter which is rare these days. Writing a screenplay is tougher than most think as it takes a rare talent to pull one off, but this rookie screenwriter does a stand up job delivering us laughs, thoughts and a lot of agony. This is so much more than a Hollywood concept film.

The art of great comedy is mixing laughter with sadness. We laugh the most when it's awkward and very true because there is a mix of emotions inside of the punchline. My Best Friend's girl takes us on a journey of Tank Turner (Dane Cook), a man who's really a secret romantic (here's a little secret to all woman out there -- all men are secret romantics), who is in a lot of self-hatred. His arc is to find self-acceptance and to realize that he's actually worth being in a relationship with level headed woman who has goals, dreams and desires in life.

In this character study we have a nice comedy film because a lot of it is so very true and on the mark. Many men (and woman) live in self-hatred and many relationships are ruined because someone destroys it because they are insecure about who they are. This films hits a lot of emotions that I completely related with and so will many others.

This is Dane Cook's film all the way. And he does a stand up job with this lead role. He ends up a completely different person from the beginning to the end of this film and that's a hard role to accomplish, especially in comedy. This could be his last chance to grab the mainstream audience. The box office numbers will decide to the Hollywood elite whether to give him another leading man role again. And I think he deserves it.

There's a new age charm in him that's never been seen before and that could be his problem. Many of our box office comedy stars (Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler etc..) have a past comedy star that can be compared to them. Cook is perhaps too good looking for his own good. Just a thought. helpimage

There is a minor criticism I do have for My Best Friend's Girl and that's the development of the minor characters. We never truly get to know what makes anyone tick, except for Cook and Kate Hutson's character. This is tough to do in comedy where the writer needs to give us laughs in each scene while they also try to develops characters who are only in a few scenes. This is usually a ghost writer's job. Someone who gets hired for a few weeks to touch up on a few character arcs. This film didn't have this and it might lead to it missing on the classic film shelve. Meaning that this could be a dated film in 10-15 years because not every scene is as tight as it should be.

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All in all I highly recommend My Best Friend's Girl. And to top it off we get Alec Baldwin playing the oversexed professor father to Dane Cook. He's a sad character who tries to be happy by sleeping with woman half his age and he really chews the scenery whenever he appears. A man who understand the art of comedy and is perhaps the best middle-aged comedy actor in the world today.

So please go see this film. You won't be disappointed. A great movie to watch with your partner of it you're going on a first date. You'll have lots to talk about after it's over.

3 1/2 stars out of 4! center>

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