One of my favorite things that happened this week was the release of This Means War on DVD…or for those of us squarely in the digital world – its availability for download. If you look up the movie reviews, you’ll find a mess of nasty, judgmental crap that doesn’t take into account the one thing that I found to be true when sitting in the opening weekend audience; It was fun. I saw the movie with three different friends and each time the theater was filled with people laughing from start to finish.
If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend the rental. It’s not a romantic comedy you’ve seen before. The story follows Lauren (the always loveable Reese Witherspoon) as she deals with the aftermath of her best girlfriend Trish (the hilarious Chelsea Handler) putting her profile on an online dating site. She meets Tuck and FDR (the incredibly hot Tom Hardy and Chris Pine respectively), best friends and CIA partners, and is attracted to both. While Tuck and FDR know about each other, she has no idea they’re partners or friends. The funny happens when the boys use their CIA toys to spy on and sabotage each other as Lauren tries her best to decide who she likes the most. A particularly funny scene involves Tuck hijacking and earpiece and feeding FDR faulty lines about a Gustav Klimt painting he’s explaining to Lauren while on a date.
There are many more genuinely funny scenes and a subplot involving a German bad guy that moves the action along, but the thing with a movie like this is that you have to watch it for what it is – not what it isn’t. It’s not an action movie but it has enough action to keep a guy interested. It’s not a romance/lifetime story but it has some sweet, romantic and downright hot moments. It is a comedy that’s meant to make you laugh and from my experience and the experience of the three audiences I watched with, it does that.
There are moments in the film where you truly don’t know what will happen or what you want to happen. The script walks a fine line that allows you to truly root for all three characters, and in the end, the viewer can feel good about the outcome for everyone involved. Some people call that contrived or unsophisticated. I call it awesome. I don’t want to leave a movie, especially a comedy upset or with any lingering feelings unfulfilled. As they said in the cheesiest of cheesy 80’s movies The Pirate Movie (still a fave for my sisters and me),”Give me a happy ending…every time.”
If you’re a Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy, or Chris Pine fan I’d advise you to go ahead and download the movie to keep. I guarantee I’ll be watching it again. But even if you’re only a casual fan of those actors, if you’re looking for a light, fun, romantic comedy give the rental a chance. One word of caution – don’t judge the film by the opening CIA action sequence. It sets up the relationship between Tuck and FDR and shows you the character of each but it’s not realistic and it’s really not supposed to be. You have to know from the beginning this flick is about the relationships not the intrigue. The movie really begins when you meet Reese as Lauren Scott.