‘A Case of You’ Movie Review – Your Typical Rom-Com
It’s always a risk when a movie makes fun of clichés by using a set of their own clichés. In Kat Coiro’s (Departure Date) A Case of You, the movie pretty much starts with a struggling writer going through cliché after cliché (him being a struggling writer is one of Hollywood’s most used ones) only to make fun of himself for his ineptitude. The movie, as a whole, becomes a struggle to find that line between charming and overly cute. In the end, it falls on the wrong side of the battle, making the movie’s biggest compliment that it is simply “good at times.”
The parts of the movie that do work involve the facade put on by the main character, Sam (Justin Long), and his inability to keep up the act. Backing up a little, Sam is an awkward hopeless romantic who falls for a free-spirited barista (Evan Rachel Wood) at a local coffee shop. Aptly named Birdie, she doesn’t have a whole lot in common with Sam. However, Sam decides to change this by transforming himself into the perfect guy, catering everything he does to her Facebook profile.
If it sounds creepy, it’s because it is, and Sam’s roommate Tony (Keir O’Donnell) freely calls him out on it. Soon, Sam is learning French cuisine, reading Walt Whitman, and taking judo classes. The conflict then becomes keeping up the lie when she finally does give him a chance.
All of this is fine, but Coiro and company (including Long, who helped write the film) take a really drastic turn with the pretty inconsistent protagonist. Long himself is great at being awkward, but it doesn’t play into his talent, nor the character he created, when he becomes a completely different guy.
It, quite frankly, just doesn’t seem to fit into the movie. Pacing is always a tough thing to nail down, but it’s easy to tell when something is off, especially when a scene just doesn’t fit. The moment the conflict comes to a head, or the “hitch” in the story, just feels out of place.
In terms of time, this “hitch” in the story takes place pretty late and resolves itself relatively quickly. And going back to the clichés, it reverts right back to what it is blatantly making fun of at the beginning. I understand romantic comedies get a bit of a pass when it comes to clichés, but these movies still shouldn’t feel hypocritical.
Ultimately, this is the most glaring flaw in A Case of You.
With a movie that features cameos from stars like Brendan Fraser, Peter Dinklage, Vince Vaughn, and Sam Rockwell, it starts with a certain amount of potential. Even with great work from the lead couple (played by Justin Long and Evan Rachel Wood), Kat Coiro’s A Case of You never does escape the clichés that plague most romantic comedies. “Terrible” surely doesn’t describe this movie, but trite definitely does, and it’s sad the quality wavered as the movie continued on.
A Case of You released on November 6th. It’s available in limited theaters as well as on Video On Demand services.
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