Community Relations Manager
KUNV 91.5 FM
University of Nevada Las Vegas
A great romantic comedy would have been so well received right now, but
despite a huge PR campaign and some great big name actors, Catch and Release
just sank in my mind.
Jennifer Garner plays Gray Adams, a woman whose fiancť has died just a short
time before their wedding. At the funeral she meets Fritz, played by Timothy
Olyphant, her fiancťís best friend and a superficial womanizer from L.A. In
fact, Gray meets Fritz because while she is escaping from the funeral in a
bathtub, Fritz uses the bathroom to have sex with one of the caterers.
For some reason, Fritz stays at his old friendís house and once Gray moves
in, she finds out that her fiancť had been leading a double life for the
past 6 years that they had been together. She finds out from Fritz that not
only has he been sending $3,000 a month to a woman in L.A., but that woman
is also the mother of his child, and he had been visiting her on a regular
basis for three or four years.
Despite Grayís initial impressions of
Fritz, she begins a secretive relationship with him that gets complicated
when her fiancťís mistress (played by Juliette Lewis) shows up wondering why
her monthly check hasnít arrived yet. This is where it gets confusing. First
of all, Garnerís character barely ever grieves for her dead husband-to-be.
Neither does his mistress. In fact, the only people that seem to be affected
at all are the deceasedís two best friends, played by Kevin Smith and Sam
Jaeger. Jaegerís character is the only person that shows any prolonged
sadness for his lost friend, and Smithís character so far as to attempt
killing himself because he feels so guilty. Garner, Lewis and Olyphantís
characters each grieve briefly, but then theyíre more caught up in dealing
with their new drama than worrying about the past at all.
The editing and storyline of the film were confusing overall. Iíve read that
the ending was altered a little for theaters, but the ending isnít what
confused me. Itís unclear whether Grayís fiancť died in a boating accident
or a skiing accident. Also, Gray finds out that her future husband was
actually a millionaire, so her search for how he received that money and
where it was going is what set off a whole chain of events throughout the
rest of the film. Thatís all fine, but at the end, everyone is left
wondering where that money came from, and who it eventually ended up with.
Despite all its flaws and sad premise,
Catch and Release still made me laugh a lot. Garner could have been left out
of the movie completely for all I cared. She didnít add much in the way of
charisma or dialogue. Kevin Smith and Juliette Lewis were the real standouts
in this film though, and I thought they had a really great comedic chemistry
together. Timothy Olyphant always does a great job of playing misogynist
scumbags (see also: Go and The Girl Next Door), but in this film he
convinced me that he could play a more heartwarming character too. He has a
great energy, and he really carried Garnerís character (literally and
figuratively) throughout the entire film.
The only reason I didnít give this film a lower rating was because of the
setting. I honestly thought that filming this movie in Boulder Colorado made
it more visually appealing, and more natural. Itís easy to relate to all of
the characters, and itís easy to sympathize with them. There was some great
comedic writing, a real snappy style that writer Susannah Grant first
perfected in Erin Brockovich. Overall, it was a feel good romantic comedy,
with some flaws and low points, but definitely worth a rent.