My Best Friend’s Girl
Directed by Howard Deutch
Starring Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, Jason Biggs, Alec Baldwin, Diora Baird
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release Date: January 13, 2009
I’m going to get something off my chest that I’ve been holding onto for quite awhile: I don’t hate Dane Cook. Not totally, anyway. In the past I have found the humor in his not so subtle brand of comedy. It’s stupid, juvenile, and gets old after awhile (especially when every idiot in the country tries to quote him incessantly), but I’ve had a laugh. That being said, his movies are garbage. Mr. Brooks and Dan in Real Life were good in their own right even with his inclusion, but they worked because he was left on the sideline — which is a nice way of saying he didn’t ruin them. The problem with the movies he has headlined is that his stand up doesn’t translate to the screen at all. So even if you like his routine, the movies suck. And if you don’t, they really suck. There is an argument in that thought about him being one dimensional and unfunny and his movies being proof of that, but I don’t have the strength to discuss it. Partly because I’m not trying to defend him and partly because it doesn’t matter. The point is, as easy a target as it would be to jump on the I-wouldn’t-piss-on-Dane-Cook-if-he-were-on-fire bandwagon, any problems My Best Friend’s Girl has actually aren’t his fault. Not totally, anyway.
Tank Turner (Cook) provides a service. When guys have somehow screwed up their relationships, he is the guy they hire to date their exes. His service is that he takes these unsuspecting girls on dates and is purposely such an asshole that they are left with no choice than to run back into the arms of their former boyfriends. Call it making them look good by default. It’s a pretty good little racket and the dates make for some of the funnier moments in the movie.
So let me get this straight, Dane Cook trying to be funny ends up being annoying but Dane Cook trying to be annoying ends up being funny? Go figure.
Of course, this movie takes place in the magical land of the romantic comedy so there is bound to be conflict. And there is. Dustin (Jason Biggs) likes Alexis (Kate Hudson). She doesn’t like him. Dustin hires Tank to do his business. Tank starts to like Alexis. She likes him back. Dustin finds out. Cue the conflict.
Like I said, the movie has problems. It’s happy-pappy predictable crap, the premise is stupid — hell, the movie is stupid — but it’s watchable and even good for a few laughs; Alec Baldwin as Tank’s dad being among them. If you end up hating it and want a scapegoat to pin it on, try Jason Biggs — he’s still worthless as ever. Or Kate Hudson, who seems to have all but washed away the memory of Almost Famous by dooming herself to the darkest corners of romantic comedy hell. For that matter, you can even blame the song by The Cars that supplied the title; you get to hear that enough times to want to choke a baby. But as much as you might want to, Dane Cook won’t be the thing you find worst about this movie.
I have heard quite a few people complain that their problem with the movie is that it is too mean to be likable. Silly me, I thought those parts were the best it had to offer. I guess that makes me the asshole. Maybe I should go out and make a movie.
And there’s the rub.
** out of ****