Super Movie Monday – My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Okay, this week’s Super Movie Monday will be pretty long, because if ever a movie did not deserve to be discussed for two weeks, it’s this one.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend was released in 2006 to take advantage of all the heat surrounding Bryan Singer’s Superman revival (discussed here, here and here).

Directed by Ivan Reitman, who also directed Ghostbusters, and written by Don Payne (a Simpsons writer who has also co-scripted Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and worked on the upcoming Thor), My Super Ex-Girlfriend starts with a pretty standard jewelry store robbery by a gang of masked men, When they make their getaway, suddenly their car is lifted into the sky and dropped in front of a police station by this woman.

Her name is G-Girl (Uma Thurman), and she possesses the standard Superman suite of powers: flight, invulnerability, super-strength, super-hearing, heat vision. Plus her stunning fashion sense. She never wears the same costume twice.

Next, we meet Matt Saunders, your basic nebbish played by Luke Wilson, and his best friend Vaughn. They have a brief jokey conversation about oral self-gratification that appears to have been edited down when the filmmakers realized that Eddie Murphy would probably sue them for stealing it verbatim from Eddie Murphy Raw.

Which should tell you everything you need to know about this movie. Everything in it has been done by someone else better. It’s not just mediocre. It’s tired. But I already did all the screencaps and I don’t have anything else to post, so screw it. Let’s keep going.

Matt, who has not been with a woman since he broke up with his last crazy ex a few months ago, clumsily tries to meet Jenny Johnson, an assistant art museum curator.

Hmm, she looks familiar, but the glasses are throwing me for  a loop. Jenny brushes Matt off, but then a thug snatches her purse and Matt heroically gives chase. He almost gets his butt kicked by the purse snatcher, but then the thug mysteriously disappears and Jenny graciously accepts Matt’s invitation to dinner.

At work, we meet Matt’s sexy, flirty coworker Hannah (Anna Faris).

Sorry, hang on…

There we go. It’s clear from the start that these two have chemistry, but Matt thinks she’s out of his league, and she already has a boyfriend. Hannah isn’t sure that Matt should be going out with some random woman he met on a subway, but he goes out with Jenny anyway.

She’s a little nuts. Alternately flirty and freaky, she talks way too much and listens too little, to Matt, at least. She’s too busy listening in on emergency radio broadcasts. She excuses herself in the middle of Matt’s scintillating discourse on what a project manager does to go put out an apartment fire. Then for some reason, she comes back.

Hannah warns Matt not to go out with weirdo Jenny again, but he does, and they end up back in his apartment, where she meets his pet fish, Biggie Smalls, before he opens her blouse to find a G-Girl costume underneath.

He doesn’t notice, though, and then she rushes into the bathroom to change out of the costume at super-speed. The change takes almost a full minute of screen time, and it’s time that’s completely wasted. There’s nothing funny or entertaining about it, nor do we learn anything we didn’t already know. The only potentially important thing that happens is that G-Girl hides the costume in one of Matt’s bathroom drawers, but it never comes up again.

So they end up having sex. Only it’s the PG-13 kind of sex where you keep your clothes on. And even though Jenny breaks the bed in her enthusiasm, Matt doesn’t twig that there’s anything more unusual about her than that she hasn’t had it in even longer than he has.

Oh yeah, and one more thing: their antics are observed through the window by a robotic bird, controlled by Professor Bedlam (Eddie Izzard, who–like Russell Brand–apparently has fans somewhere for something good he did once).

Bedlam kidnaps Matt to ask him about Jenny, then hangs him from the Statue of Liberty when he doesn’t like the answers. G-Girl rescues Matt, but insists he not look at her (and while she’s so occupied, Prfessor Bedlam breaks into her apartment to steal some hair from her hairbrush). And later, Jenny finally reveals her secret identity to Matt.

Cue the flashback featuring two young actors who bear absolutely no resemblance to Uma Thurman and Eddie Izzard playing young Jenny and Barry, bestest friends who become bitter enemies after Jenny receives incredible powers, bigger boobs and blonde hair from a strange glowing meteorite.

The other strange thing about the flashback is that Jenny is portrayed as a nerdish outsider who becomes suddenly self-confident and popular after receiving her newfound powers. So how does this confident and popular girl become the neurotic loner we’ve come to know as Jenny? No answer. I don’t think the movie even notices the disconnect.

Matt thinks it’s really cool to have a superhero for a grilfriend, for about the five seconds they spend in fantasy costume roleplay, but then G-Girl takes Matt flying and suddenly, it’s a musical.

Not really. It’s more like a porno, but once again a PG-13 porno where they have aerial sex with their clothes on. Matt is definitely not cool with it.

Jenny, meanwhile, is not cool with Matt’s flirty co-worker Hannah. Matt tries to make peace by proposing a double-date, so Jenny can meet Hannah’s hunky boyfriend and realize she’s not a threat, but the boyfriend doesn’t show. And when a runaway missile threatens the city with nuclear destruction, Jenny not only has to leave Hannah and Matt alone together, but finds them hugging afterward and becomes even more jealous.

Matt decides Jenny is a little too crazy for him and decides to break up with her. She doesn’t take it well.

No, not Biggie!

So now imagine if that dumb-ass Carrie Underwood song, “Before He Cheats,” was sung by somebody with superpowers. Imagine all the hilarious things a jealous woman could do to a guy with powers like that. Now make them unfunny, and you’ve got the next section of the movie.

Jenny steals Matt’s car and sends it into orbit with the words YOU SUCK burned into the doors. Then she uses her heat vision to burn the word DICK into his forehead (and in the movie’s determination to kill every possibly funny moment, Matt helpfully reads the word out loud for those of us who can’t read it ourselves). So Matt has to wear a goofy-looking stocking cap to a big presentation at work, and pretty soon, that’s all he’s wearing, because she undresses him at super-speed, leaving him naked in front of the Chinese clients.

Oh yeah, and just to once again emphasize the way the movie wastes screen time on jokes that aren’t funny and never pay off, there’s a bit that’s introduced way back after Matt’s first date, where Hannah gives him an MP3 player with Chinese phrases on it to impress the clients. Later, we see Matt rehearsing the phrases. And in the meeting, Matt leads off with a Chinese phrase. The Chinese look at each other, confused, as if he’s said something weird or perhaps insulting, but we never find out what it is. The gag stretches across at least three scenes, and there’s never a punch line. That’s like this whole movie.

Matt gets fired by his boss (played by Wanda Sykes, another so-called entertainer whose claim to talent completely escapes me), and tells Hannah to stay away from him for her own safety. He runs home to pack a bag and leave town, but Professor Bedlam shows up to ask for his help in stealing G-Girl’s powers. Matt refuses. Jenny’s crazy, but he doesn’t want her hurt.

But then he gets an emergency call from Hannah. He rushes to her aid, fearing that Jenny has done something awful, only to learn that Hannah’s boyfriend was cheating and she is now available. Matt declares his love for her, and they have blissful clothed sex. And the next morning, Jenny shows up with a gift.

Wait, is that a shark?

Yeah. Funniest moment in the movie, only like everything else, they kill the joke by milking it too long.

So Matt decides enough is enough and gets in touch with Professor Bedlam to agree to his plan. The Professor has developed a special rock like the meteorite that gave G-Girl her powers, only this one will absorb them back. Matt brings Jenny flowers and asks to get back together. Jenny is overjoyed.

They have dinner at his apartment, where he plans to spring the rock on her at some point (it’s never explained why he waits so long–maybe just planning to have clothed super-sex with her one more time). But then Hannah and Vaughn show up, and Jenny’s secret identity is revealed, but then Matt finally uses the rock.

While Jenny is helpless, Professor Bedlam shows up to double-cross Matt, which leads to a brief fight in which Hannah struggles to keep Jenny from touching the rock again. Ka-BOOM!

Jenny gets her powers back. But Hannah gets powers, too, so it all ends up in a super-catfight which is neither funny nor sexy enough.

And in the end, Matt convinces Jenny that they’re really not meant to be together because it’s Beldam who is her real soulmate. He only ever turned to supervillainy because she started ignoring him once her superpowers made her popular. It was the only way to get her attention.

So Matt and Hannah are happy, and Jenny and Barry are happy, and OMG, did I actually watch this movie three times for this stupid blog entry?

Yes, yes I did. The sacrifices I make for you.

Next week: in honor of the upcoming release of Thor, another Thor tie-in, this time not featuring a crappy Don Payne screenplay.

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