I’m trying to imagine the brainstorming session for this movie. Let’s be progressive and have a female superhero; we’ll call her G-Girl (Go, Girl? Great Girl? Gorgeous Girl?). Maybe she can get her super powers after being exposed to a meteorite as a teenager. Then she transforms into the cool girl and drops her nerdy boyfriend. When she’s an adult, she zips around the world and saves people from disaster. But make sure she looks like a librarian when she’s not flying around. Frumpy librarian, not sexy librarian. Give her a boyfriend. How about a boring architect? It’ll be more interesting if there’s a love triangle. Yes – and G-Girl gets insanely jealous, which can be one of her super powers. I want to see super sex. That can be another super power. What about the villain? Recycle the nerdy boyfriend. Don’t forget the shark.
Or perhaps I’m wrong. My Super Ex-Girlfriend has the beginnings of a good idea – if the idea was of a female superhero as a fully realized character and not a man’s nightmare stereotype. The movie gets lost in a cloud of male apprehension, however, and comes off almost as a cautionary tale, albeit shrouded in cheeky humor, about what happens when women are tasked with saving the world. During an uncomfortable three-way date, Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman), who has yet to transform into her alter-ego G-Girl, aggressively butters her baguette and ignores an incoming missile strike that only she can prevent, simply because she can’t stand being crowded out by her date’s friendly coworker.
When it comes down to it, G-Girl doesn’t seem to really care about good and evil. She uses her body as a bulletproof shield every now and again, but her super abilities are most handy when she needs to spy on her average Joe boyfriend Matt (Luke Wilson) or when they are engaged in raucous sex (Matt gets a unique induction into the Mile High Club). While men might project themselves onto Captain America or Batman, I don’t know any woman who sees herself as the possessive, hyper-jealous, and sexually aggressive G-Girl.
My Super Ex-Girlfriend is a bad imitation of superhero films, and it turns out that the spandex-clad, boot-stomping heroine isn’t even the main character. Matt’s attempts to deal with his crazy girlfriend, and soon ex-girlfriend, are the focus, but he’s not much of a personality. He spends most of the movie reacting helplessly to G-Girl’s shrieking, and Wilson gives him about as much substance as a slice of white bread. This makes it difficult for Anna Faris, who is sweet as Hannah, Matt’s other love interest, to pursue him in any meaningful way.
It’s up to comedy veterans Wanda Sykes and Eddie Izzard to rescue the movie. Both performances brim with scepticism though, as if they’re unsure where the film’s headed. Izzard, who has the larger role as Jenny’s erstwhile nerdy boyfriend Barry turned archenemy Professor Bedlam, at least plays up his character’s quirkiness in keeping with the movie’s tone, whereas Rainn Wilson as Matt’s best friend throws up a bag of crickets every time he tries to tell a joke.
Prod: Arnon Milchan, Gavin Palone
Dir: Ivan Reitman
Writer: Don Payne
Cast: Luke Wilson, Uma Thurman, Anna Faris, Eddie Izzard, Rainn Wilson, Wanda Sykes, Mark Consuelos
Time: 95 min
Country: United States