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Catch and Release – Movie Review

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“A release worth catching”

_ Catch and Release _
Title: Catch and Release

Jennifer Garner returns to her true calling in the new romantic piece, Catch and Release. Meaning we can release any thoughts or memories of 2005’s Electra and once again catch the Jennifer we love. The one fitted for comedies of the romantic nature. Ok, let me just say it and get it out of they way. I am a sucker for these films. When you have guys sitting around a bar asking each other who watches this chick stuff. That’s me in the corner with my hand raised high. I love films about people who for better or worse allow friendship and heart motivation to override any and all turmoil. To find themselves in each other. Even if for a moment. So this film was a winner to me in spite of a few imperfections.

Gray Wheeler (Jennifer Garner) is now a widow instead of the bride she was supposed to be in a few days. Her fiancé tragically killed before the first words of dialogue are spoken. As the days after the funeral pass she finds out things about him that though shocking leads her to self examination and growth. And not just Gray, but all those effected by this death. And that is what makes this film unique and more than just a normal romantic comedy/drama. It very subtly brings about some ponderings that if you aren’t careful you may just over look. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a depressing film. The supporting cast (Kevin Smith, Sam Jaeger, Timothy Olyphant and Juliette Lewis) bring much humor and it is a film of healing. A film that most will find laughable and heartwarming.

Sam (Kevin Smith) is hilarious as one of the grieving best friends. Two words that normally do not got together. His character works so well with the seriousness of the others. It gives it that needed relief to keep it light yet meaningful. One element I like about this film that may bother many is that it isn’t just about one character. Though it focuses on Gray it also looks into the lives of all those around Gray. These are guys who lost their best friend, a mom who lost a loving son. It would be shallow to think that this death affected only the central character. The film does well at giving you a glimpse at different coping methods. Subtly. And in the end the main method is forgiveness and giving. Giving out of your loss in order to be made whole. Each character finds that it takes on a different face with each of them.

Catch and Release is rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and some drug use. Garner is perfect, Smith hilarious, the ensemble fluid. This film deals with death and sex outside of marriage so be careful with younger viewers. The language is mildly adult but not crude at all. I think this is a decent movie that shouldn’t fall into your stereotypical romantic comedy. Is it a comedy? Yes. Is it romantic? In its way, yes. But from a perspective seldom touched on. I give it 3.5 out of 5 tea bags. I’m Matt Mungle.

The Mungle (matt@spin180.net)(01/23/07)

“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and hosts the weekly syndicated Indie Rock Radio Show Spin 180. Plus with his wife Cindy they do a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies. For additional reviews and interview clips visit the website www.mungleshow.com”

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