Reese Witherspoon once said in an interview that she chooses to do more romantic comedies and lighthearted movies because when she goes to a movie, she wants to escape. She certainly didn’t insult indie films or the actors in them, noting that great work can come from more depressing fare. But for her, she likes to have a couple hours to escape from the world, so she makes movies that help people do that. I’ve always loved that opinion because it’s one I share. When I see a movie, I want one that takes me away from the world I actually live in. “This Means War” did just that.
It was a fun movie and clever for what it was. Look, I’m not going to nominate it for an Oscar obviously but if you want a feel good romantic comedy that doesn’t completely pander to the audience, “This Means War” is an excellent choice. I laughed, quite hard at some points and let me tell you, neither Chris Pine or Tom Hardy are bad gentlemen to stare at through a movie. And Reese Witherspoon has the cutest outfits. I want like all of them.
Chelsea Handler played the female best friend role and while obviously there for comedy, didn’t actually cross the line into completely absurd like many of these stock characters do. Plus she had my favorite line. When Lauren (Reese’s character) asked how to decide between the two men, Trish (Chelsea’s character) told her “Don’t choose the better guy. Choose the guy who makes you the better girl.” I just love that.
For a McG film, the action sequences were fairly toned down. And in what I appreciated, even though the guys are supposed to be on a mission during the film, the spy stuff was kept to what mattered for the relationship. It created a nice balance. When we did get action stuff, it was obviously unrealistic but a total blast. There were car chases too. I love car chases.
As for the comedy, several of the innuendo laced scenes (you know, where the couple talks about one thing but it’s really about sex and everyone knows it) were fairly clever. Not mind blowing or anything but at least not quite as repetitive as the things you hear the rest of the time. The other thing I loved was that I didn’t know who she would choose until the moment she did. And then you know exactly who she’ll choose. The movie didn’t make it totally obvious leading up, so you got to be legitimately torn between both guys, instead of thinking one was just an obstacle. But once she made that decision, it was very clear.
So all in all, an excellent movie for a couple hours to escape from the real world.