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  My Super Ex-Girlfriend Scary Lady
Year: 2006
Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Anna Faris, Rainn Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Stelio Savante, Mike Iorio, Mark Consuelos, Wanda Sykes, Margaret Anne Florence, Catherine Reitman, Tara Thompson, Kevin Townley
Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: There is a jewel theft happening in New York, and the haul has been huge, but the criminals are not going to get clean away with the city's resident superheroine G-Girl (Uma Thurman) around. She follows them as they speed away in their getaway car, then picks it up and deposits it in the street outside the nearest police station - all in a day's work for her, but she feels there is something missing in her life. Could she be in need of love? After all, it can be a lonely existence, the whole superhero thing, so when structural engineer Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson) chats up her art gallery assistant alter ego on the subway, it could be the start of something...

The start of something terrifying, as this film takes the view that women, while attractive, are more or less the source of deep unease, which can build to the heights of absolute panic if you try to get close to them. The screenwriter for this was Don Payne, a regular scribe for The Simpsons on television, and it appeared if anyone had issues connected to the film it was not so much the characters as it was him working out some past experiences with the opposite sex that had left him mentally scarred. In spite of having Ghostbusters man Ivan Reitman at the helm, this was not a hit, suggesting that neither gender were happy about how they were depicted.

Actually, it might not have been that whole sexual politics aspect which turned audience off, because heaven knows there are plenty of people, men and women, who have troubles getting along with their counterparts, it was probably that although there was fertile ground for humour here, there wasn't one decent laugh in the whole thing. For a film with a comedy superhero surprisingly little was done with the concept as rather than having an effects-filled ninety minutes of wackiness, Payne preferred to make his Saunders character as uncomfortable as possible in the face of the monolithic whims of these women. This was writ large in the G-Girl role, as she proved to be needy edging towards downright psychotic.

Thurman did her best in the thankless part, but it was a walking punchline that really could punch, lacking any nuance that might have made her somehow human and understandable, so she's pretty much called on to be intimidating in a feminine manner and little else. In a supporting role was Anna Faris as the woman that Matt would be far better off with, except she has a boyfriend although if you cannot see where this is headed then you should hand in your romcom moviegoer card at the desk on your way out. But this was a curious example of the genre in that it was apparently aimed at the male contingent, so we got special effects and "can't live with them, can't live without them" attitude along with apparently sincere efforts to find Matt a partner.

He has a choice, according to this, to either be a ghastly chauvinist pig like his best friend Vaughn (Rainn Wilson) or a meek doormat under the high heels of womankind. There are laboured points about the twenty-first century male doing his best not to be sexist even though his biology is telling him that there are plenty of ladies around who he should be responding to somehow, which amounts to Matt being embarrassed by his boss (a hectoring Wanda Sykes) who believes him to be the harrassing type of guy (Vaughn passes her by for some reason). Meanwhile the man who is trying to dominate G-Girl, arch-villain Bedlam (Eddie Izzard), is revealed as a victim of unrequited love; it's fair enough making strong females the commanding hand on the plot, but did they really have to be so offputting otherwise? The film's high concept joke is that a superheroine would be a nightmare ex when she decided to take revenge, but this suggests a lower opinion of the women here than this wants to let on, so much so that it doesn't operate on any other level. Music by Teddy Castellucci.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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