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Playing It Cool (2014)

R | | Comedy, Romance | 8 May 2015 (USA)
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Unrequited love motivates a guy to write about his experiences.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Me
...
Her
...
Scott
...
Mallory
...
Samson
...
Lyle
...
Bryan
...
Stuffy
...
Granddad
...
Hedge Funder
...
Cabbie / Gabriel
L. Peter Callender ...
Tourist Couple Guy
...
Tourist Couple Girl
Ryan Cover ...
Skateboarder
...
Hot Girl
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Storyline

A screenwriter working on a script for a romantic movie is having a hard time because he is a little jaded when it comes to love since his mother abandoned him when he was a boy. So he spends his time ruining every relationship he has. But he really needs to make the script, so he turns to his friends for their experiences. But it's not enough. He then meets a girl who captures his heart. Problem is that she's already engaged. But she allows him to be her friend. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love... it's a balancing act.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

8 May 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Many Splintered Thing  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris Evans would be sharing the screen with Anthony Mackie for the fifth time. Previously they starred together in 'What's Your Number', 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier', 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' and 'Captain America: Civil War'. See more »

Goofs

Just before the end, when they talk next to the giant Cupid's bow, the large group of people that came to see the guy stop the wedding vanish as he walks in front of them. Followed by the comment from The Narrator "even my imagination took a kick to the balls", showing that the group of people were not real but part of his imagination. See more »

Quotes

Granddad: love is like your 401k, it matches your investment, you love a little, you're loved a litte
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Connections

Referenced in Half in the Bag: 2015 Re-Cap (So Far) (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

You're Found
Written by John Morgan Askew, Bruce David Winter and Erik Todd Herzog
Performed by Wasted Tape
By Arrangement with PEN Music Group, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
There's a difference between a flawed protagonist and an antagonist
11 February 2015 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

"My whole life, I've felt guilty after sex. Guilty for everything I'd said and done to get there. But the thing I learned, is when you actually care about the person, you don't feel guilty."

My palm should be in my face at this stupendously ignorant and completely illogical anti-philosophical piece of word gobble, but it was physically impossible as my clenching of my fists were instead turning my knuckles white while I was hammering at the stop button.

Why I endured this travesty for almost an hour is beyond me. Possibly because just before this tragedy of cinema I had enjoyed the flawed, but overall quite endearing "The Rewrite".

That story, as this one, follows a screen writer. And enduring this story had me thinking back to a scene in "The Rewrite" where Hugh Grant teaches his class that "any good story must be character-driven, not the other way around."

It is certainly true for "Playing it Cool" that its story drives its characters, and its story is as clichéd and predictable as they come. But that isn't necessarily a problem; I expect romcoms to be predictable or clichéd, and I don't hold it against them if they do. Rather I'd applaud them if they break that mold. All a good romcom has to do is build likable characters that we may reflect ourselves in, and then lead us by hand through all the clichéd obstacles using funny and touching tricks to keep us entertained and engaged until we reach the inevitable hooking up of our protagonist with his or her soulmate, realizing their own flaws and having grown a bit. The End. A bit of Kleenex in front of our smiling faces, and a more or less given 7/10 on IMDb.

The problem with this formula is that when you fail to build likable characters, and you still count on that cookie-cutter storyline, there really are very few redeeming qualities left. A couple of laughs, perhaps, maybe some nudity, good actors, music. Not much reason to watch till the end now, is it?

This is evident in "Playing it Cool." It's a perfect example of how important it is to have a true protagonist and not just a number of antagonists ranging from devilishly evil to just mean-spirited and spoiled, the latter being our "hero".

The only redeeming qualities we're shown about our main character are the ways his traits are not as repugnant as those of his "friends". He's a liar, he's a cheat, and he is through-and-through utterly disrespectful towards women. And the worst part is that it's not really depicted as flaws. He's a remorseless egotist bordering on sociopath. Kinda hard to feel any connection to him except a desire to connect one's hands around his throat.

It is really quite striking throughout the hour I endured how glaringly obvious it becomes that these script writers (the real ones, not the fictitious ones) truly don't have the first clue as to how love really works. The first "meaningful" kiss in the movie is a pity kiss, toe-cringingly pathetic. Or lead describes to his "friends" that his infatuation isn't about sex or lust, it's about the interests, feelings and whatnot that they share. One of the writers heard a line like that in another movie, and threw it in here — thing is, at this point he knows absolutely nothing about her. And then that horrible, stupid line that ended my viewing of this flick.

I realize you may be thinking that I'm some holier than though born again Christian who can't stomach promiscuous sex and foul language. But I assure you, I'm not. I enjoy women before, during, and after marriage as much as the next guy, the more the merrier, and I can swear you under the table. I just need my romcoms to be romantic, and at least a bit authentic underneath all their cotton candy sweetness. And that requires, at the very least, one protagonist. This flick has none.

Romcoms are a dime a dozen, and I suggest you put your money somewhere else. Anywhere else. The extra star is for decent acting.


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