Cook steals the show, making it just worth the price of admission

by Robbie LehmanStaff Writer

Within the first few scenes of “My Best Friend’s Girl,” it is clear what the plot is. It is a blueprint that has been done before in movies.

The nice guy can’t get the girl of his dreams, so he comes up with a plan to make her realize they should be together, which ultimately goes completely wrong and makes things worse. Herein lies the main conflict that drives the film.

Like I said, this has been done many times before. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is a successful outline for a movie if it has the right amount of star power to attract audiences.

“My Best Friend’s Girl” certainly has that. Dane Cook and Kate Hudson headline a superb cast that clearly has chemistry together on the set.

Cook, the king of stand-up comedy, tries his hand at the big screen again, starring as Tank Turner, a self-proclaimed jerk. He knows what he is and doesn’t try to hide it. In fact, he has made a healthy living from it. His job is to take women on the worst dates of their lives so that they realize how good their old boyfriends were, with the ex-boyfriends paying Tank to do so. On the surface it seems cruel, especially given the way Tank treats these poor girls, but according the him, it really is a noble deed.

Tank’s best friend Dustin (Jason Biggs), the classic, all-American nice guy, is in love with his co-worker, Alexis (Hudson). She is a woman focused on her career and Dustin is not her type, so she doesn’t acknowledge him as anything more than a friend. This causes Dustin to seek out Tank’s services, and as soon as he does, you understand how the movie’s title comes into play.

As foreshadowed, Tank takes Alexis out and shows her a bad time. It turns out however that a jerk is just what she needs to refresh her life. She and Tank begin sneaking around behind Dustin’s back. It also turns out that Tank is a closet romantic. Things begin to get serious, and problems arise.

All this causes Tank to struggle with his self-concept, while the viewer also tries to guess what type of character he is: static or dynamic. Is he destined to be a jerk for eternity, or can he be a genuine guy who is falling in love?

“My Best Friend’s Girl” is definitely not a chick flick the way the title makes it sound. Some may call it a romantic comedy, but given its R rating, I would classify it as more of a hybrid romcom. With all the talk about sex and a few topless women, it crosses the line just enough that I would not see it with my mother.

Also, anyone other than Cook couldn’t pull off the dirty jokes and sell it the way he does. For those hoping to see a performance like Matthew McConaughey from “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” you won’t be getting that from Cook.

You really believe Tank is a jerk. I liked him in this role, but maybe that’s just because I’m a huge Cook fan. I have been known to cry from laughing so hard at his stand up acts. (If you haven’t seen his “B & E” routine, YouTube it pronto and thank me later.)

Cook breaks into his comedic genius for a wedding scene near the end that had the entire theatre rolling pretty hard.

So, while “My Best Friend’s Girl” won’t reach the status in romcom history of “There’s Something About Mary,” it’s a flick that’s well worth a few good laughs. And while this type of movie has been played out before, the star-power of Cook and Hudson make it work.