Catch And Release: The Boulder Chamber of Commerce should be overjoyed with the portrayal of their city in the warm and cuddly romantic comedy “Catch and Release,” which is currently in theaters.
Visitors from big, dangerous Los Angeles quickly relax as they take in the sights of this clean, rich bohemian paradise where everyone appears to be happy 90% of the time.
There is excellent fly-fishing nearby (the title alludes to this activity), and the scenery is breathtaking! Because the film is so conscious of its Rocky Mountain setting, one of the characters observes with caution that people in Boulder appear to be “unnaturally” joyful.
Sam (Kevin Smith), the only overweight person in the scene, attempts a half-hearted suicide attempt with drugs and alcohol, but he is in and out of the hospital in no time, and no one seems to notice or care about his gesture.
There are two possible explanations for his depression: his excessive weight and the recent death of one of his best friends, Grady, in an accident, which serves as the film’s opening scene.
The first feature film directed by Susannah Grant, the screenwriter of “Charlotte’s Web,” “Erin Brockovich,” and “In Her Shoes,” “Catch and Release,” is a vehicle for Jennifer Garner, who stars as Grady Wheeler’s nervous but determined fiancée, Gray Wheeler, who is left stunned by Grady’s death on the eve of their wedding. Susannah Grant, the screenwriter of “Charlotte’s Web,” directs “Catch and Release.”
Gray, on the other hand, has no shortage of solace: her fiancé’s three best friends are all on hand to lend a helping hand. Among them are Sam’s roommate Dennis (Sam Jaeger), who is secretly in love with her, and Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), a playboy television commercial director who flies into Boulder from his opulent Malibu beach house for the funeral.
Mr. Olyphant (formerly of “Deadwood”) enters the frame, and you know he and Gray are destined to be together; the only question is when. Gray overhears Fritz having quickie sex with a curvy caterer at the funeral reception, and their relationship gets off to a rocky start.
Despite Gray’s dissatisfaction, the two are engaged in near-record time. Gray initiates an impulsive kiss between them, sealing their connection and laying the groundwork for them to begin a covert relationship.
Gray’s discovery that Grady had a million-dollar fortune that she was completely unaware of, and that he was paying $3,000 a month to a massage therapist in Santa Monica, hastened their reconciliation.
When she tells Fritz about this, he tells her that the lady in California is the mother of a 7-year-old child. Gray is even more surprised when the second lady, Maureen (Juliette Lewis), and her child (Joshua Friesen), arrive in Boulder and reveal that the child is three and a half years old.
At this point, you should expect a flurry of hair-pulling pyrotechnics between the good lady and the chosen floozy. Maureen, on the other hand, emerges as a warm-hearted, if occasionally erratic, fan of Chinese herbs and holistic cooking, as well as a caring mother. Everyone soon gets along fantastically with one another.
Catch and Release is refreshing because it lacks the elements that make them great. Unlike other Disney princess films, there is no petulant princess-mongering here, with an overindulged golden girl ascending to the throne and being crowned amid applause and applause, like diamonds and money raining down from above.
This group of gentlemen never shows their teeth, and they never use the terms “bitch” or “slut.” Grady’s stern, bereaved mother (Fiona Shaw) is the film’s closest thing to a bad girl, pressuring Gray to return her engagement ring.
Mrs. Garner and Mr. Olyphant appear to like Julia Roberts’ and Johnny Depp’s younger siblings, and you get the impression that this film is a test of their ability to attract male admirers with their attractiveness as romantic leads.
Given that Ms. Garner onscreen combines spunk and perpetual girlishness in roughly the same proportion as Ms. Roberts, her screen wattage is roughly 40 to 100 times greater than her counterpart’s.
Mr. Olyphant’s Fritz, on the other hand, exudes a genuine but slightly snaky genuineness. Despite its efforts to make him Mr. Right, the film leaves you with lingering doubts about his character; his smiles are too broad, and he casts far too many sidelong glances to be taken seriously as a romantic partner.
The derogatory term “chick movie” is used to describe “Catch and Release,” which I believe is exactly what it is. In “Catch and Release,” however, there are hints that Ms. Grant was aiming for something more nuanced and delicate than the standard fairy-tale formula.
While the film’s attempts to find a middle ground between two things leave it grappling for fundamental plausibility, its affection for its characters is not cynical.
The film “Catch and Release” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). There are some sexual scenes in the film. IMD Rating
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