J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Get the Girl: Not Meeting Cute

It wouldn’t be Stockholm Syndrome, but it would sort of be related. A rich but painfully shy knucklehead contracts his own fake kidnapping, along with the woman of his dreams, as a way to win her over. Unfortunately, things get more real than he anticipated in Eric England’s Get the Girl (trailer here), which opens this Friday in limited release.

Clarence Clark comes from money—as in the “Clark Fortune.” He should not have problems with women, but Alexandra, the object of his affection is no longer swayed by superficial guy stuff. The fact that he keeps coming back to the high-end gentleman’s club where she works as a bartender, just to moon over her, probably is not helping any either. Help is what he needs, so he hires Patrick, a brash lady’s man and general life of the party, to help improve his game. Soon Patrick hatches a bold plan, in which Clark pays off a desperate gang of kidnappers, saving them both and confessing his love in the end.

Of course, good old Patrick is a major sleaze, who needs money in the worst way. The erratic behavior of his drug-addled crew quickly adds an additional element of danger. Things really spin out of control when Alexandra proves to be far less compliant than anyone assumed. If they are not careful, she might just save Clark instead.

So yes, it is sort of like O. Henry crossed with Quentin Tarantino. It will not rock your world, but it is amusing. As Clark, Justin Dobies is necessarily bland, but gamely navigates the bedlam surrounding him. Noah Segan’s Patrick hardly looks like a virile force of nature, but he compensates nicely with energy and attitude. Most refreshingly, Elizabeth Whitson plays Alexandra with great strength and down-to-earth resiliency, making her nobody’s victim. Arguably, she is far more together than Clark, which makes the fundamentally creepy premise feel much less problematic.

England keeps the one-darned-thing-after-another mayhem coming fast and furious. It is no classic, but it is hard not to chuckle at how fouled up things get. It is a fun distraction that has absolutely no socially redeeming merits, bless its heart. Recommended on those terms, Get the Girl releases this Friday (1/27) in select theaters and on VOD.

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