A terrific idea for a comedy would be where a guy breaks up with a jealous, clingy girlfriend who turns out to have superpowers that she can use to his detriment. A terrific execution of that idea is not to be found in “My Super Ex-Girlfriend,” which has occasional spurts of laughter but is otherwise benign and dopey.
Uma Thurman plays the superhero, G-Girl, who in her daily life is a mousy art gallery employee named Jenny Johnson. Her new boyfriend, Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson), is a non-descript designer-or-developer-or-architect-or-something (you know, like the guys in most movies), and he finds her superpowers awesome at first. Then he realizes she’s kinda crazy and dumps her.
Well. If you think a psycho chick scorned is bad, wait’ll you see a psycho chick scorned who also has super-strength and the ability to fly! Watch out, non-descript Matt Saunders, because this psycho chick is pee-oh’d!
I’m no feminist, but it seems like this movie has little regard for women. In flashback, we see how a teenage Jenny first got her powers. One of the signs? Her breasts grew larger and guys started thinking she was pretty. As a grownup, she’s the film’s female lead yet has a one-dimensional personality, a walking (and flying) punchline to a joke about how dumping a needy girl is always such a pain in the butt. Her midair cat fight with another superheroine is gazed upon by horny, awestruck men. If the filmmakers (“Simpsons” writer Don Payne and director Ivan Reitman) were going for a spoof of how comic book heroines are always ridiculously busty sex objects, they haven’t succeeded at the “spoof” part. For all its Girl Power posturing, the movie is really making the opposite statement.
And it’s not doing it very funnily, either, which is the main problem I have with it. Heck, go for outright misogyny, as long as you’re funny about it. There are a few delightfully absurd moments, and Wilson (more subdued than his grandstanding brother Owen) has a wry delivery that suits his character’s situation. Rainn Wilson (from TV’s “The Office”) lends support as Matt’s bad-advice-dispensing best friend; Eddie Izzard gets a chuckle or two as G-Girl’s archenemy. But Uma Thurman is disappointingly flat, the amusing Anna Faris doesn’t get any funny lines as Matt’s co-worker, and the hilarious Wanda Sykes is underused and pointless as Matt’s boss.
So not only are the women shrieky and one-dimensional, but they aren’t given anything funny to do, either. This is a waste of good talent and a waste of a good idea.
C (1 hr., 35 min.; )