Sometimes you get a movie with a silly premise, and all the information about the movie makes it look like a dud. Then you see the movie and the chemistry between the two leads is so good it almost makes the movie worthwhile. Note I said almost.
"Playing It Cool" is about a screenwriter (Chris Evans) who is tasked with writing a romantic comedy. He has a difficult time fulfilling the assignment as he has never been in love and doesn't really think love exists. That is until he meets an immensely likeable woman (Michelle Monaghan) at a party and is immediately smitten. Sparks fly between them as they first touch hands.
Problem is she has a boyfriend (Ioan Gruffudd), and wants to stay true to him. However our hero talks her into going out on a "friend" date. And then another one. His friends (Luke Wilson, Aubrey Plaza, Martin Starr and Topher Grace) try to warn him away from this woman but he persists until she tells him they have to stop.
The story goes on from there and even if it is predictable I am not going to reveal all here. It is enough to say he imagines a variety of scenarios wherein they might be reunited and the audience gets to see them all. They aren't very imaginative but it does break up the monotony of the film.
Chris Evans has a strong fan base because of his "Captain America" role and they doubtlessly will watch this movie just because he is in it. Still it has to be said this is not one of his strongest performances. Monaghan has been in quite a few movies and has never made a real impact on Hollywood. In this film she is adequately charming but nothing to write home about. Still when these two are on screen together they do have chemistry and you do root for them as a couple to make it.
The supporting cast is competent but they do not have strongly written roles. Topher Grace's is the most detailed but the audience never feels they know him. Plaza gets the most attention of this group but a little of her personality in this movie goes a long way.
The movie is rated R for profanity and adult situations.
Apart Evans and Monaghan are mildly entertaining but when they are together it is movie magic one more time. Their chemistry makes the movie better than it has any right to be.
I scored "Playing It Cool" a chilly 4 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper
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