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Catch and Release

Excruciating
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 24, 2007
1.0 1.0 Stars

070126_catch_main

Of all the characters in Susannah Grant’s punishing romantic comedy, Grady, the former fiancé of Gray (Jennifer Garner), has the least to complain about: he’s dead. Which means, among other things, that he no longer has to put up with his gaggle of inane friends back in Boulder. They include Sam, whom Kevin Smith fleshes out by eating something in every scene or, in an excruciating product placement ploy, citing the quotations he picks out for Celestial Seasonings boxes at his “job.” Or uptight Dennis (Sam Jaeger), Felix to Sam’s Oscar. Or Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), whom Gray first observes shtupping a caterer at Grady’s memorial service but who proves the film’s only catch. And he would have been spared the unearthing of his lover, Maureen (Juliette Lewis), and her hideous three-year-old boy. Grant’s script, unchecked by a real story or a real director (like Steven Soderbergh in 2000’s Erin Brockovich), plays by the numbers — those in the wall-to-wall soundtrack of insipid pop songs.

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