“Are you trying to turn me on? ‘Cuz its working.”
Lovesick is a success on some level. I imagine those of you reading this right now that actually know me personally would expect me to trash a film like this, but that’s not the case here (and for those of you that don’t know me, I’m one of those movie snobs who takes cinema way too seriously outside of the occasional Super Troopers or Pootie Tang screening). Being a movie snob with a non-movie snob fiancée (which is my situation) can put you in check from time to time. You learn that it’s ok to lighten up and watch a silly movie every once in a while. That’s one of the many great things about having a special person in your life. They often remind you to loosen up & smile from time to time (perhaps you should share this very movie with that special person in your life for Valentine’s Day).
And I’d be lying if I said this romcom, directed by Academy Award winner Luke Metheny, didn’t have little nuggets of my own particular sense of humor. Following a disastrous first date between our main character (played by Matthew Leblanc) and an attractive yet off-putting woman, the woman tells LeBlanc; “I don’t need you…I got a cock”, and then she just takes off in a taxi. There’s another scene where LeBlanc makes an announcement on an elementary school loudspeaker saying; “Meet me in the cafeteria in five minutes. Free ice cream for everyone…except the diabetics…you guys get a half day!” Those are the kinds of lightly dark quirky comical moments in Lovesick that might keep the anti-romcom demographic watching.
In Lovesick, Matthew LeBlanc plays “Charlie” – an elementary school principal suffering from a rare form of mental illness. Whenever he falls for a woman, he goes clinically insane over time. At the start of the film Charlie makes an effort to keep his distance and not fall for anyone, but he eventually meets the perfect woman in the form of “Molly” (Ali Larter). The more their relationship progresses, the worse Charlie gets. He becomes irrationally jealous & paranoid that Molly is cheating on him (at one point he suspects she’s having an affair with a certain celebrity doctor). Naturally his growing irrational behavior starts to affect his relationship with Molly, his students and his close personal friendships (Lovesick is narrated by Adam Rodriguez who portrays Charlie’s best friend “Jason”). Of course Charlie screws things up and has to win Molly back in the final act.
Larter pretty much plays your typical attractive love interest while LeBlanc draws upon his role as Joey from friends, only a little less dumb this time around. The supporting cast is made up of sketch comedy vets like groundlings alum Rachel Harris & comedy legend Chevy Chase (who pretty much plays the same guy he did in Hot Tub Time Machine). It’s unfortunate that they only share one scene together…
Harris:Hit on me again and I’ll rip your cock off and use it to stir my drink
Chase: Are you trying to turn me on? ‘Cuz its working.
Lovesick also tips it’s hat to past romcom/relationship films like When Harry Met Sally (there’s a fictional porno movie that Chevy Chase watches called when “When Harry Ate Sally”) as well as High Fidelity (Matthew LeBlanc recounting his past relationship failures throughout the movie is reminiscent of John Cusack doing the same thing in High Fidelity).
Movies like Lovesick remind me of the blind movie rentals I used to make on a whim in college while perusing the local Blockbuster or Hollywood Video (it certainly has the vibe of a late 90’s/early 00’s indie comedy like The Tao Of Steve). Is this the next When Harry Met Sally or High Fidelity? No, it isn’t. Would I watch this movie again? Absolutely not. But this movie got the green light for a reason. There’s a demographic of folks out there that have the ability to (and will) enjoy a film like this (and it’s certainly better than most recent romantic comedies I can think of). Anyone who sees Lovesick after watching the trailer (or looking at the poster art which does misrepresent the movie to some degree) and still expects something else really has no right to complain about it not living up to some ridiculous expectation.
Please understand that this is the kind of movie I can only rate against other movies in the same romcom lane. So when you see my rating below, know that I’m not putting it up against stuff like A Most Violent Year or Boyhood but rather movies like That Awkward Moment or Yes Man…