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Rediff News  All News  » Movies » Even Uma Thurman can't save this dud

Even Uma Thurman can't save this dud

September 01, 2006 17:55 IST

I love Uma Thurman -- and I'm not using the word lightly, in jest or exaggeration. The actress is phenomenal and looks incredible in My Super Ex-Girlfriend. The only reason I mention this is to emphasise that this film is such a dud that even an ardent Uma-devotee could barely bring himself to sit through it.

I agree, on paper it sounds superb. Ivan Reitman, the director of Ghostbusters. The always-relatable Luke Wilson playing the lucky, misguided mortal who dates (and dumps) a superheroine. And Uma Thurman, the modern day goddess of revenge herself, armed with a comicbook cape and tights as she prepares to unleash havoc on our hero with bad taste. How can it all possibly go wrong?

It just does.

The tremendous comic and satirical potential of the idea -- hell hath no fury like a superwoman scorned -- is wasted dismally in this silly, annoying film. The plot is simple and hard to fault: a young loser, Matt Saunders, possibly because he's such a dweeb, attracts a superheroine, G-Girl. Lonely despite her jawdropping legs and dominatrix black leather crimefighting getup, she falls for the nerdy loser hook line and sinker, but despite the perks of dating a woman who can fly (and can dress for a date in under a minute) he breaks up with her, moving onto a vanilla co-worker instead. Herein begins revenge and havoc, as the supergirl doesn't take kindly to rejection.

My Super Ex-GirlfriendAlmost as if caught too smugly in its 'ideal plot and cast' coup, My Super Ex-Girlfriend doesn't even seem to be trying for the laughs. There are fine moments -- G-Girl taking Matt for a night-flight that is classically Superman and Lois Lane, until it turns into an emasculating make-out session -- but these are so few and far between that the whole film moves by in a forgettable blur with the viewers wistfully wondering what might have been.

Both deeper territory -- man dating overachiever, insecurity -- and comicbook madness -- superheroines to spoof, referencing, what if Catwoman dated some random Chuck -- are left unforgivably unexplored.

Thurman's Clark Kent-style alter ego is Jenny, a mousy and awkward bespectacled geek who runs an art gallery and lives in a magnificently furnished apartment -- evidently superhero work isn't as badly paid as Peter Parker would have us believe. As G-Girl, she's a crimefighting force who can deflect impending nuclear missiles with a swift kick.

The film switches through both identities dizzyingly, and Uma pulls off all sides neatly -- hesitant, nerdy Jenny; top-of-the-world G-Girl; neurotic and paranoid G-Girl; Jenny defiantly wanting to let G-Girl be for an evening while she eats her pasta; and a violently ticked off G-Girl. The actress looks gorgeous throughout, but the second half, where she seeks vengeance, wastes her because we get to see her only in little asides, as Matt begins to dominate the film. Still, she's worth one-star by herself.

My Super Ex-GirlfriendAnd he just isn't fun enough. While Luke is believable enough given his character, the script makes him way too bland to like. Yes, we've all been virtually chased by neurotic ex-girlfriends who haven't quite gotten the message that it's over, and there are times in every man's life when we take what the film refers simply to as 'the jerk route,' yet we can't really sympathise for Matt. For one, any man who trades kissing lessons from Uma Thurman for an affair with Anna Faris (the co-worker) instead needs to have a shark flung at him.

Rainn Wilson from the US version of The Office does well in the copybook obnoxious-buddy role, and Eddie Izzard, that fabulous drag-draped comic act, manages to salvage some scenes otherwise beyond redemption.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend is not an offensively bad film, but it's a crying shame how much of a hash has been made out of a perfect romantic comedy premise.

And here's some food for thought: when someone as phenomenal as Uma Thurman gets to get in and out of her clothes several times in a film, perhaps blindingly fast superhuman speed isn't the cleverest idea.

Rediff Rating:

Raja Sen