2015 / Director. Justin Reardon.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Recently THEY CAME TOGETHER attempted to deconstruct the rom-com genre while also trying to BE a rom-com. It was a disaster of a film and (in my opinion) one of the year's worst. PLAYING IT COOL, on the other hand, attempts the same thing and absolutely nails it. Chris Evans plays a screen writer who has a talent for writing action films. When the studio promises him the next big action contract it comes with the condition that he must first write a rom-com. It's a deal he cannot refuse but it is also a challenge that he struggles to meet. In reality he has been unlucky in love and has no qualification to fall back on. Then he meets a woman, becomes infatuated and is faced with one almighty catch... she is in a relationship. The general crux of the story is fairly generic, which is the whole point. It takes what is an already familiar idea and strips it apart, layer by layer. With a strong fantasy element to help convey the inner-workings of the character's mind, PLAYING IT COOL becomes a strangely original and refreshing entry into the genre. Chris Evans is excellent in the lead and Michelle Monaghan is perfectly matched to him. They are also supported by a wonderful ensemble including Martin Starr (I love the guy), Luke Wilson, Topher Grace and Philip Baker Hall. There's also a string of cameos from folks like Patrick Wurburton, Beverly d'Angelo and Ioan Gruffudd among others. It never really oversteps its mark or becomes too sappy and director Justin Reardon clearly had full control of the reins. Sometimes movies sneak up on you and surpass every expectation. PLAYING IT COOL is one of them.