For a guy straight out of central casting for a real Kevin Smith film (which Fanboys should have been with its Star Wars love and his all-too-brief cameo) or one of the Judd Apatow bromantic factory projects (Knocked Up), skinny geek Jay Baruchel certainly has the potential to be more than a dark-haired clone of Michael Cera. Maybe it's because he truly broke through as the hapless would-be boxer who gets pummeled nearly to death in Million Dollar Baby or the fact that his supporting turn in Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist featured him as Cera’s rival for the affections of Kat Dennings that allowed him to flesh out an arrogant hipster seemingly at odds with his “type.”
Of course, the point of all this is that maybe there isn’t a Baruchel “type” at all.
Take his latest turn in She’s Out of My League, where he plays an airport security checkpoint worker who meets a successful party planning “Hard 10” (Alice Eve) who starts to cozy up to him, much to the chagrin of his (and her) friends and family.
Baruchel refuses to rely on the now standard Cera tics (the ubiquitous stuttering and the quiet-sensitive intelligence posing). Instead, he finds ways to live inside the skin and life of a good guy who has unfortunately listened a bit too carefully to the jokingly disparaging remarks of those around him for too long. Once he stops, Baruchel guarantees that the audience recognizes that he’s out of the league of all the crude and funny doubters and haters. Grade: B
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