Catch and Release can’t keep up at box office

Alias star Jennifer Garner shines in romantic comedy

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Jennifer Garner

Catch and Release
Directed by: Susannah Grant
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith

3 stars

Last week’s U.S. box office hits reveals a shocking pattern.

In first place was Epic Movie " currently sitting at no. 46 on’s Bottom 100 list. In second place was Smokin’ Aces. In third place was Night At The Museum, which has had a hell of a run, making over $200 million, but has been out since December.

Most painfully, the fourth place spot went to Stomp The Yard, whose no. 22 spot on the aforementioned Bottom 100 list makes it just a little bit worse than Glitter.

The fairly satisfactory chick flick Catch and Release debuted in fifth place.

Looking at its weak competition, one has to wonder why a film written and directed by the woman behind Erin Brockovich and starring superstar Jennifer Garner did so poorly at the box office.

Catch and Release is decent. Garner’s ability to express multiple emotions simultaneously brings sincerity to her character Gray Wheeler, a woman whose fiancé dies on his bachelor party fishing trip. On her supposed wedding day, she instead holds his funeral and decides to move into his old room and live with his three best friends.

As the secret life of her fiancé is uncovered, Gray must cope with the realization he wasn’t the man she thought he was. At the same time, she tries to make sense of her increasing affections for Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), one of her fiancé’s friends.

Despite their various neurotic behaviours, most of the characters besides Gray seem bland. However, this is often forgivable, as the film is sprinkled with unexpected slapstick comedy and seemingly genuine emotion.

Intriguingly, Gray’s fiancé, Grady " and yes, the similar names do occasionally cause some confusion " is played by no one. The character is only spoken about and depicted in photographs and silhouette.

The faceless character works well, as viewers only know him through his exposed secrets and people’s descriptions. Without an actor to identify with, it’s easier to flip between thinking Grady is a great guy or a complete douchebag.

Hopefully, this just-above-average chick flick will have a second chance at life once it comes out on DVD. That is, as long as Stomp the Yard isn’t taking up too much shelf space.

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