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MOVIE REVIEW

In the land of stupid women with 'My Best Friend's Girl'

September 22, 2008|Michael Ordona | Special to The Times

Where does one begin to tell the story of how bad a film can be?

It's not just that "My Best Friend's Girl" is pervasively, hideously sexist, nor that it's cliched, shamelessly derivative and laughably insincere, nor even that it gives us a face full of almost nauseatingly unappealing characters. Ultimately, its most unforgivable sin is that it's simply not funny.

This nose-holding trip down the sewers of first-time screenwriter Jordan Cahan's juvenile and apparently misogynist mind should come with disinfectant for viewers. Here, women are either hyper-religious prigs or seething nymphomaniacs who simply need to be tamed by revolting losers such as Tank (the perpetually charmless Dane Cook).

Tank is a five-star womanizer but specializes in repairing breakups by taking ladies on nightmarish dates to show them just how good they had it with the scumbag who cheated on them, or whatever, scaring them back into less-than-loving arms.

How fortunate that women are so stupid.

Lo and behold, all the heretofore irredeemable Tank needed was to try the trick on his best friend's girl (hence the repeated use of the Cars' single) and, you know, do what automatons in these terrible movies do.

They inexplicably fall for each other, leaving Tank with the dilemma of choosing the girl for himself or shooing her back to his pal -- not that she wants to be with the pal, but why should that matter?

This synapse-free rip-off of "Hitch," "Wedding Crashers" and so many others -- including Cook's "Good Luck Chuck" -- can't overcome the basic plot hitch that none of these women would date Tank in the first place.

But this is a beer-commercial world of idiot men landing gorgeous women. Poor Diora Baird should get combat pay for the rodents she's pawed by. Jason Biggs and Kate Hudson sleepwalk through as the best friend and the girl, respectively, doubtless hoping it's all a bad dream.

Onetime John Hughes doppelganger Howard Deutch directs with his eyes closed and does not spare the pop songs (gotta have a montage!). Watching this repugnant, angry male fantasy, I thought, "You know what's missing? Jokes about date rape." I wasn't disappointed for long.

--

"My Best Friend's Girl." MPAA rating: R for strong language and sexual content throughout, including graphic dialogue and some nudity. Running time: 1 hour, 41 minutes. In general release.

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