Playing It Cool (2014) - Review

by - January 03, 2019

Synopsis: A cynical screenwriter who has never been in love is tasked with writing a romantic comedy. Inspiration comes in the form of the perfect woman who is already in a committed relationship.

Love Is A Balancing Act

Playing it Cool is a rom-com designed to subvert the rom-com genre but ultimately comes across as gimmicky and a bit blah. The cast is pretty great, with Topher Grace a bright spot and Aubrey Plaza playing Aubrey Plaza aka April Ludgate (her character throwing bowling balls at Chris Evans is a highlight).

Chris Evans is likable if a bit self-absorbed (projecting himself in every romantic story his grandpa and circle of friends tell him), and Michelle Monaghan is a witty 'cool' girl who doesn't seem to have much of an issue cheating on her bland boyfriend while sticking with him because he's 'comfortable'. They're not super great people, but they at least seem to be aware of it. "I'm willing to regret you for the rest of my life." Aw.

Some of the characters were severely underwritten that you wonder why they were in the movie at all, flitting in and out of scenes with no real purpose and then just disappearing from the movie altogether.

 The concept was an interesting one, but the laughs were lacking. It grabs almost every rom-com trope by the balls and runs with them (the group of friends discussing men vs. women, the awkward high five meant to be a wave, the typical meet-cute, the breaking up of a wedding, etc.) but unfortunately it's lacking the charm that makes good rom-coms so enjoyable.

Starring: Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Topher Grace, Aubrey Plaza, Martin Starr, Ioan Gruffudd, Luke Wilson
Directed by: Justin Reardon
Rated: R
Watched: 11.20.2018
Fun Facts:
- Every shirt that Scott (Topher Grace) wears references "Love in the Time of Cholera", his favorite book.
- Chris Evans was taught to tap dance by his mother. Evans admits he does it when he's nervous.
- The names of Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan's characters are never revealed.
Notable Song: A Night Like This by Caro Emerald

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