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Playing It Cool – Review


Release Date: 26th September 2014 [USA]
Director: Justin Reardon
Writer: Chris Shafer - Paul Vicknair [Screenplay]
Cast: Chris Evans - Michelle Monaghan - Aubrey Plaza - Ioan Gruffudd



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Posted December 1, 2014 by

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Playing It Cool  Review:

Chris Evans is slowly becoming one of those actors who can tackle the blockbuster with ease and knocks it out of the park in something a little less Hollywood. After his stints in the like light with Fantastic Four and the recent Captain America role especially in the year of which Captain America: Winter Solder became one of the highest grossing films it’s a wonder he’d go for anything else but he’s clearly pushing his boundaries with recent films like Korean/American hit Snowpiercer and more recent indie ish rom-com Playing It Cool.

Playing It Cool is a story about Chris Evans being a writer in the sunny lands of LA trying to make that Hollywood dent but to get their his agent (played by Evans sidekick Anthony Mackie) says he needs to write a romance script first for a studio. Evans at first struggles deeply with the situation as we get an insight into his life. The character he plays is his typical style, not a serious guy, good with the ladies and basically doesn’t do relationships. This plays with the characters way of life as he more or less doesn’t know about relationships. From here Evans sort of accidently falls for a woman (clearly) and the two start off a relationship to no surprise.

Although the story isn’t exactly grasping at first sight it was on Hollywood’s blacklist of scripts (the must have of scripts) and it was truly wanted by many! How you ask? Mainly due to its storytelling technique and style of the script making it feel separate from others along the same line. It’s story structure offers to play in the hands of creative and storytellers a like as Evans (being a writer) imagines himself in everyone’s stories which leads off to some very creative and extremely funny scenes. The film plays off of Evans past career being the smart, witty funny guy in every room and it does it well. He’s very clearly attached to this character and it comes off really well in the story.

Michelle Monaghan plays ‘Her’ the love interest to Chris Evans narrator and she feels like your very average woman. There’s just very little spark which makes you enjoy her character or even brings something a little new to the story to make it that little bit more unique. To be honest it sort of lets the film down in many ways being the relative weak spot for what was already turning out to be something really good. The introduction to her character though is something hilariously funny as Evans and Monaghan meet, a spark is lit and they decide to battle each other by going to numerous people in a party asking awkward chat up lines. As for the rest of the cast it isn’t made up of much such as Topher Grace and Audrey Plaza but it feels like a writers version of that hit HBO show Entourage. These guys aren’t the cool Hollywood group, instead their that underrated slackers of the world.

The script is the gold point in this film and with some good scenes an interestign story and plenty of great witty dialogue which just rolls off of Chris Evans tongue you can see why it was on Hollywood’s blacklist! The film however is just sadly let down by some somewhat average cast appearances and making it too much of a romance film rather than balance that romance comedy element it so desires. As for the play on the story it works great. It’s genuinly fun watching Evans try and at first defy having feelings for this woman and it’s even better watching as he crumbles into a soppy woman wanting to be with her. To start he’s his usual typical male character he plays in so many films but he slowly changes through the film to something a bit more emotional.

In the end Playing It Cool is a good film with that indie sort of feel. It’s got that Josh Radnor vibe from HappyThankYouMorePlease with its fun but caring emotional vibe and it ends with that 80’s rom com style. Whats most fun is how much the cast just poke fun at all the cliché stuff even presenting it and stating clearly that what they’re doing is a cliché. It works and adds to this fun film.


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Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 22.37.10

Matthew Reay
Freelance Contributor


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