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MY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL

SYNOPSIS:
Dustin (Jason Biggs) is in love with Alexis (Kate Hudson), but the feeling is not mutual. After five weeks of dating, Alexis puts the brakes on the relationship. So Dustin enlists his best friend and roommate Tank (Dane Cook) to help. Tank is a rebound specialist, a master of seducing and offending women. He is in great demand with his friends, because when hired by freshly dumped guys, he takes out their ex girlfriends on the worst date of their lives, sending them back to their beaux. But when Tank starts dating Alexis, his 10-step plan backfires and Alexis starts calling the shots. To make matters worse, Tank falls madly in love with her, causing all kinds of complications.

Review by Louise Keller:
It's coarse and funny, but there's something really endearing about this twisted romantic comedy in which the protagonist excels at being a self-proclaimed emotional terrorist. 'It's what I do,' Dane Cook's Tank tells those who are after his services; after all he has the female psyche all worked out. Howard Deutch (The Whole Ten Yards) directors Jordan Cahan's first screenplay with a wry sense of glee, allowing its compelling two leads to shine. Cook has a complex appeal (you almost love to hate him, except that he wins you around), while Kate Hudson is so fresh and natural with a girl-next-door smile, that she is simply irresistible.

The film begins by showing us what Tank can do on a date - in just 10 sure-fire, despicable steps. It is enough to deter any girl and throw her back into the arms of the one with whom she has just broken up. And of course, that is the whole idea. It's demonic 'tanking'. Things take a sharp U-turn however, when Tank is put on the case of his best friend's girl - Hudson's Alexis. Jason Bigg's Dustin is Mr Right as far as Alexis is concerned, but not Mr Right Now. Dustin is outwardly mild and polite but has a crate full of x-rated videos such as Lawrence of A Labia to act as 'comfort food for his penis'. Tank and Alexis' first date is a riot in which all of his 10 sure-fire, despicable steps backfire and Alexis takes control. There's a funny scene in which Tank takes Alexis' outraged phone call on loudspeaker in front of his telephone consultant training class. The script swerves and teases as the story plays out and roles are reversed. We happily cringe in the scenes with Alec Baldwin as Tank's insufferably crude, womanising professor dad, and watch out for the moment when Dustin loses his eyebrows in an expensive hairdresser visit.

Cutting through the vulgarities are some great ideas. Like the New York pizza restaurant called Cheesus Crust to which Tank takes a sweet, religious girl and whose Goth waitress serves a cross-shaped Nazareth pizza. But ultimately, everything is about the relationship between Tank and Alexis, who manage to outdo and humiliate each other (in the most public of places). The film doesn't profess to be anything except what it is - and succeeds hands down.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

MY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL (MA)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Kate Hudson, Alec Baldwin, Dane Cook, Lizzy Caplan, Diora Baird, Jason Biggs

PRODUCER: Guymon Casady, Dane Cook, Adam Herz, Doug Johnson, Barry Katz, Gregory Lessans, Josh Shader, Brian Volk-Weiss

DIRECTOR: Howard Deutch

SCRIPT: Jordan Cahan

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jack N. Green

EDITOR: Seth Flaum

MUSIC: John Debney

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jane Ann Stewart

RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hoyts

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 9, 2008







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