Starring: Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Sam Jaeger, Kevin Smith, Juliette Lewis, Fiona Shaw
A woman struggles to accept the death of her fiancé and the secrets he kept from her as she rebuilds her life.
We’re going to pretend I posted this on time yesterday instead of forgetting to do it because I had a paper to write.
The most telling thing I can say about Catch and Release is that it’s melodrama. While I have a lot of issues with the genre, I can’t necessarily hold them against this movie in particular as one small part of a bigger problem. What I can do, however, is point out the problems that are inherently its own.
I’m not saying this was a bad movie. It was an okay movie. More than anything, it was an underwhelming movie and a movie far from its potential, melodrama or not. There’s very little special about it, which is just damned disappointing, considering the presence of Kevin Smith should guarantee something at least a little unique.
To my knowledge, this is the first full length feature I’ve seen Jennifer Garner in as lead, and she’s the source of most of my ambivalence about this movie. Her protagonist isn’t despicable, but isn’t particularly likable, either. I’m supposed to buy her as perfect girl, the great catch, but I never did figure out why. The chemistry in the central romance is principally generated by Timothy Olyphant, whom a dear friend of mine is fond of reminding me could have chemistry with a brick wall. Well, I believe it now, because I don’t know why he was interested in Garner, but I bought that he was, at least. The entire movie is a little overly precious and trite, epitomized by the snore of a love scene. It’s neither hot nor especially poignant; it’s just a lot of hazy camera work.
Surprisingly enough, my big issue with the film, the one thing that actually grabbed my attention (Albeit in a negative way), was Kevin Smith’s character. Overweight, he is shown either preparing or eating food in nearly every, single scene he’s in. Initially, I thought perhaps the idea was to highlight a food addiction, and that in the wake of his best friend’s death, eating is a method for coping. Nope. He’s just the fat guy who is always eating.
Seriously? Seriously? I don’t know how Kevin Smith, of all people, agreed to that.
All that said, Catch and Release is watchable. It’s very light, brainless fare. Timothy Olyphant is cute, Kevin Smith is charming when he’s not shoving a sandwich in his mouth. Watch it while you’re folding laundry, I am quite sure it would hold up under limited attention.