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Mr. Right
Genre Comedy
 
Review:

"The perfect guy is out there waiting for me." While this dreamy sentiment tends to evaporate the closer some woman and men get to their 40s, it still seems to be one of the most popular romantic comedy building blocks in Hollywood. Wishing and waiting for that special somebody to fall into your lap or sweep you up off your feet has continued to be a great source of entertainment for the lovers and haters of this cliche-riddled notion of love. Perhaps the airy-fairy idea, which generally involves hopes being dashed or requited just presents too many shades of grey to ever overstay its welcome.

Love or hate them, Mr. Right is another one of those movies as you may have guessed from the bland title. Thankfully, director Paco Cabezas and screenwriter Max Landis have gone for a slightly more playful and refreshing take, making this romance between a jaded nutcase named Martha and a nice guy with a deal-breaking flaw... he's a hitman. He isn't just any hitman though, taking down the very people audacious enough to hire him. Martha, fresh on the rebound takes a liking to him as his worst kept secret slowly emerges from the shadows.

Getting romantic co-leads, who could ground their nutty characters while generating enough spark to sell the romance was essential. Luckily, Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell are just crazy, sexy and cool enough to make it work! They're cute, offhandedly charming, fun and disarmingly sweet together. Normally, this kind of romance could get a bit cloying, but the thin layer of mystery and their wacky sense of humour makes it seem like Juno and Before Sunrise had babies. Anna Kendrick has got terrific comedic timing and Sam Rockwell can be just as loony as Brendan Fraser, making them a surprisingly great pairing.

Mr. Right gets by on this romantic comedy life force, but also uses the trained assassin action comedy to great effect. Sam Rockwell is branching out, not only playing a romantic lead but also trying his hand at action with a similar edge to Seven Psychopaths. He's got the acting and karate chops to pull it off as the seasoned hitman uses his "Matrix" abilities to outsmart, outmanoeuvre and take down his enemies. In fact, the film makes a transition from cheeky Cameron Diaz chick flick to Guy Ritchie gangster showdown, moving from sweet whispers to ka-blam, ka-blam, ka-blam "...and stay dead".

The strange tonal shifts make the ride a bit bumpy as we try to buy into the premise, looking to our co-leads for stability. Kendrick and Rockwell manage to keep the wink-wink charm in check, however there are several moments that stretch the film to breaking point as ridiculous plot points go from half-baked to overcooked. The silly tone is able to redeem the over-the-top moments as two disparate genre plots come crashing together, but the balancing act is sometimes painful to watch... even with the talents of Tim Roth.

Mr. Right is an enjoyable and lightweight distraction that has enough entertainment value and charm to keep you watching, but its flaws are pronounced and destined to make this dark horse romantic comedy a cult favourite at best. It's better than Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl's Killers or the Jennifer Aniston/Gerard Butler vehicle, The Bounty Hunter, but that's not saying much.

The bottom line: Playful


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