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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Jennifer Garner
Juliette Lewis
Fiona Shaw
Kevin Smith
Timothy Olyphant.
Directors
Susannah Grant.
Screenwriters
Susannah Grant.
Running Time
111 minutes

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Catch And Release
Mediocre rom-com with Jennifer Garner as a bereaved fiance.


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Plot
Gray Wheeler (Garner) swaps her wedding for a wake when her fiancé meets his maker just days before she gets to say, "I do.” Strapped for cash, she moves in with his two best friends and slowly starts to discover that her would-be hubbie was hiding a wealth of secrets.


Review
Catch And Release
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As a genre, the rom-com is not inherently evil. Movies like Notting Hill, Jerry Maguire and Pretty Woman have managed to raise as many titters as they have tears, and we thank them for it. Catch And Release, however, manages to miss on the majority of levels it’s aiming to hit. Too lightweight for drama, not quite funny enough for comedy, not enough heart for tears, it chugs along predictably, and at some length, on cast-iron rails that manage to steer it away from any real sense of poignancy, insight or plain laughs.
 
Set in the scenic surrounds of Boulder, Colorado, the movie opens with a funeral, and Gray Wheeler (Jennifer Garner) eulogising the loss of her perfect man. Unable to afford the lease on their new home she inexplicably opts to room with her dearly departed’s two best friends, the secretly pining Dennis (Sam Jaeger)  and hungry slacker Sam (Kevin Smith, in a rare and impressive acting-only role).
 
They’re soon joined by Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), a sleazy Malibu-dwelling commercials director. “I never understood why he was friends with you,” Gray tells Fritz, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that their initial dislike may not last long. Along the way, we discover that her perfect man had a secret stash of cash, and was supporting New Age psycho-babbler Maureen (Juliette Lewis). You can probably guess why.
 
From there you can just zone out as Maureen redeems herself, Fritz turns out not to be so bad after all and Gray pouts a lot over her short-lived grief; all while Smith and Lewis are left to keep up the negligible ‘com’ side of the business. On the plus side, freed of any responsibility to keep an eye on the plot, the viewer could instead keep busy playing Six Degrees... Jennifer Garner is married to Ben Affleck, good pal of Kevin Smith, who has a part in Live Free Or Die Hard, which stars Timothy Olyphant: Shazam! — you’ve just got through another few minutes of the movie.
 
It’s not that writer and first-time director Susannah Grant hasn’t managed to hit her mark before. Her scripts for Erin Brockovich and, to a lesser degree, In Her Shoes, got her noticed for all the right reasons. The generic Catch And Release, however, fails to rise above mediocrity.


Verdict
A film with a fishing metaphor for a title should have come with sharper hooks.


Reviewed by Tony Horkins

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Catch And Release
Empire Star Rating

Slow Moving But Romantic In Places.

The movie starts with Jennifer Garner, mourning the loss of her perfect husband to be and tries to move on living with his mates and starts to fall for the most unlikely one. The good things about this: Timonthy Olyphant who is drop-dead hot and the romantic scenes pulls your heart strings. But there are plenty of wrong things in this: why does Kevin Smith let in a woman who's a ho and has a annoying brat that is or isn't the dead man's son. It's very slow moving, takes forever to get on with bu... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:04, 18 June 2008 | Report This Post


Hate to shoot holes in your review film_fan_484 but death does strange things to strange people! When my mates dad died he went on a two month dissapearing act and turned up with a girl! he'd been with her all the time! Death does strange things to strange people so claiming that the film's events are unrealistic is you claiming you know everything about everyone's behaviour and i'm pretty sure thats untrue! So to teh film! i enjoyed it, i thought it was an alright premise, i dont like rom coms ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by clarkkent at 16:27, 25 March 2007 | Report This Post


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