It seems that romantic comedies are moving away from their sweet as sugar roots and incorporating a ruder, coarser approach to getting laughs. Similar to outings like Wedding Crashers and Knocked Up, My Best Friend’s Girl touches up the traditionally girly template with a liberal dose of laddish laughs. What next, action blockbusters for the ladies? That’d be … interesting.
Tank (Dane Cook) is a call centre nobody who moonlights as an ’emotional terrorist.’ This entails taking girls who have recently ditched their men out on dates so horrifically nightmarish that they go running back to their former beaus. He make’s a pretty penny out of this, but when his best friend, nerdy Dustin (Jason Biggs), enlists his help with his dream girl Alexis (Kate Hudson), he does it for free and for friendship. Alas, there are other complications you can likely hazard an accurate guess at.
The borderline misogynistic humour is hit-and-miss, just as likely to fall flat and come off as tastelessly crass as it is to be funny. Still, the nastiness is refreshing, but undercut by the nature of the romcom- namely, that there is only one ending. As original as Tank may initially seem to his predecessors, his character arc is exactly the same so any initial differences are ultimately rendered cosmetic. Cook still gets the lion’s share of the laughs and, along with Alec Baldwin as Alexis’s dad, is the highlight. Alternately, Hudson brings her now standard pretty girl routine while Biggs seems to be just going through the motions until he can cash his cheque.
As much as this film really doesn’t offer anything new, both girls and guys can get into this one making it a decent enough date movie.