Wherein unreasonably free time is dedicated to proving Jonah Hill is funnier than you.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Why I Wanted to See It: There have been many excellent revisionist superhero comics, playing upon the genre's pre-established tropes yet telling vastly different stories. Considering that Superman Returns was basically a series of tropes tied together, one would figure the super-man archetype itself would be ripe for such reworking.[1]

Why I Hadn't Seen It: Brandon Routh is prettier than Luke Wilson and Uma Thurman combined, so I just kept watching Superman Returns over and over that that summer. Feel free to disregard my taste in movies from hereon, but at least it kept me away from The Devil Wears Prada.

Why I Just Did: Only recently have I heard of Hancock, Will Smith's take on the super-man archetype. This reminded that there's deconstructive space that's not solely parodic, and I had the urge to wash Beerfest out of my analytical mouth.

Why I'm Glad I Did: Eddie Izzard and Rainn Wilson were hilarious as always, even if neither had to exactly bust their acting chops. Luke Wilson's oxymoronically handsome everyman persona was perfect, at least as far the film was willing to go. From an ardent 'Smallville'-watcher's perspective, the meta-Clex vibe to the film's action angle made me giggle.

Why I Wish I Hadn't: After I was done basking in the saccharine sensibilities of Stephen Schwartz's songs in Enchanted, I realized that the movie was almost as retrogressively sexist as the cartoon musicals it purports to poke fun at. This is exactly the problem with My Super Ex-Girlfriend, except exacerbated by the fact Uma Thurman ain't no Amy Adams.

Sure there are no damsels in distress, but there are catty, possessive, emotionally unstable superheroines to attend to. Even when crossing into a Bizzaro-universe version of 'Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex,' the movie still manages to be maddeningly masculine; rather than explore the dangers of shtupping the super-powered, it's played off as some perverse male fantasy.

Irony of ironies is that Superman Returns featured less action than My Super Ex-Girlfriend, but was a far more honest and endearing exploration of emotions.

[1] What about Mystery Men, you say? That wasn't really a reworking of any one film; ensemble superheroes didn't make it to the big screen for another year with