THERE'S ONLY ONE THING notable about the (ostensible) comedy She's Out of My League, and that's how blatantly it rips off the past 15 years of American comedic filmmaking. Kevin Smith's seen-it-all sarcasm. Judd Apatow's insistence that nice guys finish first. The no-they-didn't raunch of American Pie, and the buddy bonding of I Love You, Man. They're all here, distilled down to their dumbest elements—minus brains, cleverness, genuine wit, or actors charismatic enough to float a film.
Kirk (Jay Baruchel) works as a TSA screening agent at the airport. (League's hijinks presuppose a certain distance from post-9/11 travel anxieties—it's hard to imagine a comedy about buffoonish airport security agents coming out five years ago.) One day, after he defends her from the advances of a lecherous coworker in the security line, Kirk catches the eye of the generically babe-a-licious Molly (Alice Eve). Coincidences conspire to thrust the two together, and soon they're dating, despite the opinion, shared by Kirk, his friends, and his family, that Molly is—wait for it—way out of Kirk's league. Molly, we're shortly led to suspect, is slumming it, after a bad breakup with her ex-boyfriend Cam (Geoff Stults), a dashing pilot, who at various turns mistakes Kirk for a waiter (ha!) and a homosexual (HA!).
Jay Baruchel and Alice Eve certainly occupy very different rungs on the sex-appeal ladder, but to insist, as this movie does, on the inherent improbability of a good-looking woman dating a less-attractive man—well, it's a comedic premise that's flawed from the get-go. (For a quick illustration of this point, Portlanders, look around—as a rule, the men in this town aren't as pretty by half as their girlfriends.) Sure, Baruchel's chest looks particularly concave alongside Eve's assertive convexities, but it's really not that hard to imagine the two of them together. League, though, goes to great lengths to assure us that not only is Kirk a physically inferior specimen, but he's got some emotional problems as well—namely, he's insecure, and less than his caved-in chest, it's his insecurity that's standing between him and the girl of his dreams.
All of this would be rough enough to stomach; but I haven't even touched on the Disney-loving sidekick, Kirk's "slutty" ex-girlfriend, or the scene where a dog licks semen off Kirk's crotch. Hey, remember the semen joke in There's Something About Mary? That was pretty funny—12 years ago.