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Running Time:
1 hour, 50 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for sexual content, language and some drug use

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This romantic comedy tries mixing laughter and tears but it has such mediocre acting and unappealing characters that it's difficult to care much about any of them.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: 2 commentaries: ; Writer/director Susannah Grant and Kevin Smith; Writer/director Susannah Grant and cinematographer John Lindley

Catch and Release
Jennifer Garner ("Daredevil") plays Gray Wheeler, whose wedding turns into a funeral when she learns that her fiancÚ Grady died in a boating accident at his bachelor party. At the wedding reception in Boulder, Colorado we meet all the important characters including the devastated Gray, her weepy mother (Fiona Shaw - Aunt Petunia in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone), and the groomsmen: buffoonish Sam (Kevin Smith "Clerks"), sincere Dennis (Sam Jaeger "Lucky Number Slevin") and the irresponsible playboy Fritz (Timothy Olyphant - TV's "Deadwood"), who deals with his grief by seducing the caterer. Unable to afford the house she and Grady had rented, Gray moves in with Sam and Dennis, where Fritz is also staying. It seems inconceivable that with this catastrophic loss Gray doesn't get so much as a call from her mother, or any of her bridesmaids, but she bonds with Sam and Dennis, while initially loathing the self-centered playboy Fritz (having overheard his affair with the wedding caterer). Gray soon learns that her late fiancÚ had been making payments to a California massage therapist named Maureen (Juliette Lewis "Natural Born Killers"), to support their son. Stung by that revelation, Gray begins an affair with Fritz that blossoms into something unexpected. And before long she even overcomes her resistance to the ditsy Maureen and her precious son.

One of the troubles with this dramedy written and directed by Susannah Grant (writer of "Erin Brockovich"), is that it deals with the serious issues of sudden death, grief, infidelity, deception in a fairly lighthearted way. What makes it worse is that there are only a few moments when the film actually approaches some kind of emotional or dramatic truth. There's little chemistry between Jennifer Garner and Timothy Olyphant making the romance never very believable. The movie doesn't show them falling in love. We're supposed to accept it on faith because they're so mismatched, and they sleep together. Nearly every intended instance of humor fails, indicating that "Catch and Release" might have worked better as straight drama, but not with this cast. This confused, disjointed film tries to be many things but it never succeeds in being any of them.

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