My Super Ex-Girlfriend

My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Luke Wilson, Uma Thurman, Anna Faris, Rainn Wilson, Eddie Izzard
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Music Video

Look! Up in the Sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's an extremely lame movie! Director Ivan Reitman continues his comedic downhill slalom into mediocrity with his latest film "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." Back in the eighties, Reitman had a slew of profitable films, the most notable being the "Ghostbusters" series. After successfully dabbling in the "Ghostbuster" genre mishmash of horror and comedy, Reitman went the sci-fi and comedy route in the new decade, honoring us with the instantly forgettable "Evolution." Now Reitman is at his high-concept madness again, mixing science-fiction and romantic comedy ingredients into a potpourri of awfulness. "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" is the end result and I can still smell its rank stench.

The blandness begins when Matt (the lukewarm Luke Wilson) gets involved with the strange, mysterious Jenny (an over-the-top Uma Thurman). Jenny harbors quite a secret in her needy, jealous and controlling body. Underneath her librarian-looking exterior, Jenny is, in fact, "G-Girl," a superhero who protects the citizens of New York. Falling maniacally head-over-heels in love with Matt, Jenny soon reveals her true identity to him. As their relationship develops (which seems to flourish in a couple of days), Matt eventually finds himself unable to cope with Jenny's growing jealousy over Matt's relationship with his co-worker Hannah (the eternally cute Anna Faris). It's also quite interesting (and illogical I might add), that Jenny possesses super-hearing, yet she cannot hear Matt and his always horny, boorish friend Vaughn (Rainn Wilson) as they talk about her in disparaging ways. Anyway, before things get dicier between the couple, Matt decides to break up with the faux Supergirl. This is not a good move. Jenny's already unstable mindset spirals out of control and she more or less becomes a stalker, following and spying on Matt, occasionally stopping to destroy his property or to put him in embarrassing and life-threatening situations. Help soon arrives though, in the form of Professor Bedlam (brilliant British comic Eddie Izzard, who deserves better roles), an old school chum of Jenny who harbors intense hatred (and love) for her. Bedlam has discovered a meteor chunk that will somehow drain the radiation power from G-Girl, but he needs Matt to woo her back in order to carry out his devious plan. Will G-Girl succumb to Professor Bedlam? Will Matt find true love with Hannah and be rid of Jenny for good? Will anybody be awake by the end of the movie?

Sometimes I'm baffled when a film goes this wrong. With the amount of talent involved behind the scenes and in front of the cameras, it's quite shocking to see something this sadly depressing and vaguely offensive. There are no characters in "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" that are sympathetic, nice or relatable. Men are portrayed as selfish, lying, vindictive misogynists while women come across as emotionally unstable stalkers, hotheads and manipulators. Lots could be forgiven if there was, I don't know, some laughs in the movie (since it is supposed to be a comedy and all). But alas, that is not the case. It would also be easier to stomach if the actors had something to work with. Unfortunately, Luke Wilson gets the brunt of the abuse, suffering at the hands of this inane trash. When supported by a strong cast and script, Wilson's "normal guy" persona carries weight, but without these things, he just tends to float around the screen, bobbing up and down like a helium-filled balloon. Uma Thurman fares a little better, mainly because she chews as much scenery as she can wrap her mouth around, which makes it look like (at times) that she is actually enjoying herself. Everyone else appears bored, like they're waiting for their checks to clear.

While the concept is certainly clever, the film does nothing with the premise and just sends wave after wave of rote and predictable situations our way. It's like a Saturday Night Live sketch that starts off interestingly, then slowly goes on and on with no end in sight. Just the same jokes over and over, until it finally sputters to its demise. Nowhere is this more evident than in the weak, contrived climax of the film (yes…I stayed awake), which hopelessly tries to bridge all the loose ends of the story with an increasingly unbelievable turn of events, resulting in one of the most lazily constructed sequences of film I've ever seen. It's like the filmmaker's couldn't figure out how to end things, so they just threw up their hands and filmed whatever entered the frame, no matter how badly it insulted the intelligence of its viewers. It also doesn't help that the action scenes suffer from a "point and shoot" aesthetic that does nothing to elevate the dreary material. Essentially, the film is devoid of any sense of style and enthusiasm, showing a lack of love for comic book lore and an even bigger disrespect for romantic comedy conventions. Director Reitman seems to have lost touch with his comedic roots and its unfortunate that this bland, sub-sitcom-style debacle was ever made, since it tarnishes Reitman's rapidly tainted oeuvre.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment presents "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" in an anamorphic widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. On the whole, the picture is crystal clear and well-detailed. Every now and then, there are moments when the images appear soft and washed out, especially during the brighter scenes. Also, edge enhancement problems pop up frequently. Despite these minor imperfections, the presentation is fairly solid. Grain and specks are not an issue and flesh tones appear natural.

Sound arrives courtesy of a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track, as well as French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround options. I found this mix to be above par, with a nice balance of directional and atmospheric effects filtering between the rear channels. The speakers really come to life during the action sequences, with the thunderous symphonic score providing an aggressive immersive experience. It's also interesting how G-Girl's super-hearing is portrayed, as it utilizes the rear channels while muffling the less specific sounds that occur around her in the front channels. It adds a nice dimension to the overall mix. As usual, dialogue is center channel specific and the track is devoid of any hiss and distortion. Subtitles are provided in English and Spanish.

For Special Features, we have a series of five "Deleted Scenes." For those of you who are gluttons for punishment, these gems are somehow less logical and confounding than the main feature. Included are two flashback sequences between Jenny and her pre-Bedlam friend, as well as another scene with Jenny deriding Matt and throwing more abuse his way by letting a bunch of bikers beat him up. There's also a brief sequence involving Bedlam in prison. What was he in prison for? Actually, why do I care?

Also, there is a "Music Video from Molly McQueen" for the song "No Sleep 2 Nite."

Since I have a widescreen screener copy of the film, I'm fairly certain that the end product will be one of those dreaded flipper discs. An onscreen prompt signaled that there were additional features on the other side of the disc, but since I couldn't flip it, I wasn't able to check out what these were. Some searching around led me to figure out that a Full Screen version of the film will be included, as well as an Extended Scene (the Shark sequence).

"My Super Ex-Girlfriend" is a dull, boring and repetitive waste of time and talent. Director Ivan Reitman, one of the great contemporary comedic talents out there, proves that even the best can stumble (and he's stumbled quite a bit recently). Even with a script by Don Payne (a former writer for "The Simpsons"), "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" squanders its promising premise with a lack of wit and logic (replacing them with crudeness), never once hitting its satiric mark. Without any sense of style or inventiveness, this film deserves to fly up, up and away, hopefully never coming back down to earth. Only masochists and insomniacs looking for a cure should bother with this cinematic misfire.