In his early 30s, the beer-bellied Dex has things figured out. He's widely read in philosophy, he's studied Steve McQueen the prototypical cool American hero, and he's distilled Buddhism and Taoism into three laws that make him a hit with women: don't express desire, do something heroic in front of her, then retreat. A part-time job with young children, beer, guys, Frisbee golf, pool, poker, his dog Astro, and sex: what could be missing? Then, at his ten-year college reunion, Dex meets Syd, and the "Tao of Steve" may not be enough to get him what he wants. Plus, Syd remembers something important that Dex has forgotten. Can a cool smart guy, 50 pounds overweight, find his bliss?Written by
Slight and relying heavily on the "cool" factor but still an enjoyable little film if it catches you in the right mood
Dex is a ladies man who has a Zen-like art of seduction under his belt. So despite the fact that his belt has expanded since his best days in high school, he generally still has that going for him even if he has generally underachieved in everything else. Basing his rules around the approach of Steve (Steve being the embodiment of American male cool) Dex has managed to get into more beds than his looks really should have allowed him to and generally he is happy despite being a slacker in his late twenties. When he meets Syd though he finds himself feeling a bit more than normal (which is nothing) and genuinely liking her as a friend. Will she make him look again at his approach to life?
The title should at least give you some idea of the type of film this is going to be because it manages to sound cool and interesting and a bit hip without really doing a lot which pretty much sums up the appeal of this as a film. The story is essentially quite a nice romance but it is set in a post-modern word of slackers who have relaxed jobs, relaxed morals, relaxed approaches to life, relaxed houses and generally just shoot the breeze about nothing. I suppose it will depend a bit on your age but, as some in his late twenties (at least, at the time of writing I am) I suppose I am target audience and I must admit it quite won me over. The story doesn't really go to any depth and, at the end of the day it does just what you expect it to do in terms of how it ends but it manages to get passed all this by having the same relaxed attitude of the characters.
I'm sure it was not as easy to put together as it appeared but the film moves nicely along with a lot of pop culture references, slacker humour and a touch of genuine humanity in the romance. It wasn't the most convincing story or scenario but I was so happy to just buy into the cool nature of the world within the film that I forgave it perhaps a bit too easily for this. The direction helps because it all looks sunny and chilled, while the use of music is cool without being too obvious. The cast also help and, in particular, sterling work from Logue who manages to take a fat, sexist womaniser and make him into a character who has those characteristics but still managed to make me like him and care where his story went. Goodman gave a good performance and, like Logue, she came over very natural (probably helped by being the writer). Although these two carry the majority of the film the support cast are still pretty good and enjoyably fill in the film and match the mood.
Overall a chilled and enjoyable little comedy that drew me in despite being slight and not having that much to it. Probably best watched by older members of the slacker generation or those that have grown up but still look back affectionately, this is quite fun and quite charming even if these qualities are covering up a multitude of sins in the background.
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