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Rated 2.97 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
The Rom-Com Blues
by Betty Jo Tucker

Chris Evans, aka Captain America, narrates Playing It Cool. He portrays a frustrated writer with an assignment to write a romantic comedy screenplay. He hates that particular film genre, so why not just say no? Because when he completes the rom-com, he will be given an action movie to pen.     

How can I write a rom-com, guys?

He asks for help. He’s not love wise.

Love’s not for me, he says, for sure.

But then he meets The perfect HER.   


He falls in love, and soon finds out

HER love for him seems much in doubt.  

A boyfriend she just does not need.

But she would like a friend indeed.  


How will it end? And do we care?

Sorry to say the laughs are spare.

The rom-com part seems too cliché.

Plus, sexist talk gets in the way.

Playing It Cool ends up being one of the worst romantic comedies I’ve ever seen. I expected 500 Days of Summer and got Fool’s Gold instead. Take a look at the plot: boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy stalks girl, boy lies to girl, boy whines to girl, boy loses girl, boy ….. well, you get the idea.

Michelle Monaghan (Source Code) plays the girl, who already has a boyfriend. As usual, she looks quite lovely and appealing. Being an avid fan of romantic comedies as well as of both co-stars, I can’t help feeling guilty about being so disappointed with this movie. However, the best thing about the film involves sparks of chemistry between Monaghan and Evans in a few scenes. Too bad Evans’ character seems practically impossible to like, even in various clips where he imagines himself to be other characters including a soldier, an astronaut, and his film noir alter ego.    

Conversations between Evans’ character (who, like his co-star, has no name) and his little circle of friends made me cringe most of the time. Sexism is definitely alive and well in Playing It Cool. Plus, the waste of talent among the fine supporting cast becomes annoying, most glaringly where the great Ioan Gruffudd (King Arthur) is concerned. As Monaghan’s stuffy boyfriend, he receives so little camera time that anyone who blinks will miss him. The same holds true for Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical) and Matthew Morrison (Glee). The narrator’s close friends played by Topher Grace, Owen Wilson, Aubrey Plaza, Martin Starr, and Andrew Mackie also deserve much better. And so do we.   

Watching Playing It Cool left me with a bad case of the rom-com blues.

(Released by Vertical Entertainment and rated “R” for language and sexual content.)

For more information about Playing It Cool, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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