My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (Daryn Tufts, 2010): USA

Reviewed by Larry Gleeson. Viewed on iTunes, Netflix March 15, 2011.

My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, is a romantic comedy from first time director, Daryn Tufts. Tufts showcases Alyssa Milano with the standard expected wholesome scenes. Unexpectedly, Tufts adeptly slides in stunning glimpses of Milano with unseen before camera presence reminiscent of major studio star actresses of yesteryear.

Christopher Gorman plays Ethan, an aspiring writer who’s putting his heart and soul into a romance novel. Ethan’s receives a stab in the heart as a publisher, played by Carol Kane, chides him, “don’t get hung up on writing” as she dismisses him and his work.

Ethan lands in Milano’s character’s (Jesse) coffee shop and is shown journaling. Enter Beau Bridges as Logan Young, Jesse’s uncle. Logan orders coffee from Jessie and encourages her to “get back out there” as it becomes apparent Jesse has experienced a traumatic relationship and is somewhat gun shy on returning to the dating world.

Jesse is self absorbed as she goes about her waitressing preoccupied with the conversation she’s just had with her uncle. She slaps down Ethan’s bill onto his table and catches herself as she’s about to routinely continue making the rounds. Her magnetic energy catches Ethan by surprise. Jesse notes Ethan is writing in a journal and inquires about its content. Sparks fly and after a brevity of small talk Ethan tells Jesse he’s going to name a character after her if he ever writes again. Jesse seizes the moment and gives Ethan a quick story scenario. The premise is about an amazing woman who meets a desperate guy in a cafe. The guy is a total loser.  The guy becomes inspires by the woman and she convinces him to keep writing and he becomes successful. Ethan is dumbfounded. He fumbles asking for Jesse’s number mumbling about  how he can “get some” – inspiration. Jesse gives Ethan her number so he can call her when he needs inspiration. Ethan leaves on cloud nine.

Taking a moment Jesse lays her head into her arms upon the counterThe cafe door opens and a Prince Charming walks through the door in the form of Michael Landes. The devastatingly handsome Landes plays Troy Parker, a pseudo-suitor advertising executive. Landes performs a Jimmy Stewart-esque moment as he espouses “the way he sees it” as to why he needs Jesse’s phone number right now. Jesse is won over by his charms and the film goes into warp drive.

Jesse and Ethan go on a date with a minor complication that Jesse sweetly solves. She takes Ethan onto a baseball field for a very touching and tender exchange. Several dates take place and the couple draws closer and closer together. Interspersed are scenes with Jesse and Troy dating. Ironically the dating scenes parallel each other and along the way clever dialogue with playful banter ensues.

Eventually, the time has come for Ethan to propose. He chooses a vantage viewpoint of the city with a mountainous landscape backdrop to make his pitch. Jesse caught off guard balks pleading with Ethan. “I can’t. I can’t be who you want me to be.”

The following scenes show pensive shots of Jesse along with perplexed shots of Ethan.

Ingrid Michaelson provides an evoking track. Shortly afterward, Jesse accepts a proposal to run away with  Troy, the commercial-writing advertising executive.

Ethan’s publisher calls and informs Ethan she loves his new work. Excitedly, Ethan races to get Jesse which is also the film’s opening scene with a slight variation.

The film ends where it begins. The only difference is that along the way something amazing happens.

Strong cinematography carries the film at times. Recommended.

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