Get the Girl (2017)

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Get the Girl is a 2017 American comedy crime thriller film directed by Eric England, A wealthy young man is conned into staging a fake kidnapping in order to be a hero and win the affection of a girl he’s madly in love with. But when one of the hired kidnappers is accidentally killed during the charade, he’s forced to actually save her life while not revealing that it’s been a ruse all along.

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Review:

Starting off pervy and vile, shifting to amusing, and then windup up WTF—and not in a good way—the preposterous dark-comedy thriller Get the Girl at least offers a breakout performance by a young Indian-American best known as an executive producer of such high-profile films as The Grey, Dredd and A Walk Among the Tombstones. WTF, indeed. Directed by Eric England (2013’s Contracted), who scripted and, with Graham Denman, co-wrote the story, Get the Girl at first seems to be about subverting rom-com tropes, with creepy, dough-faced narrator Clarence (Justin Dobies) quoting “famous American author Richard Bach” and others about the nature of love and of love stories—all while clearly stalking a pretty blonde bartender (Elizabeth Whitson) in the late stages of an acrimonious divorce. Presenting himself as a rich heir, Clarence hires self-styled player Patrick (former child actor Noah Segan, whose many credits include voicing co-host Henry in the cult-hit ’90s animated series “KaBlam!”) to help him win her over. In true—and truly warped—grand-gesture fashion, Patrick conceives a plan to “kidnap” Clarence and the young woman, Alexandra, take them to Clarence’s Los Angeles mansion, and have him be the hero. The movie turns vile when Alexandra proves harder to snatch than Patrick and his accomplices thought, and so they knock her out with a fist. This would-be entertaining bit of misogyny is then followed by a nighttime getaway scene evidently directed and edited in a blender and lit like an ’80s music-video cop show—and not a good one like “Miami Vice” but a knockoff like “Hollywood Heat.” Maybe things would have been easier to see if PROPERTY OF VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT didn’t take up about one-sixth of the screen in the screening-link version reviewed, but it doesn’t really matter—no one in the world would want to pirate this, least of all any film critics, world-renowned bootleggers that we apparently are. And for the record, Vertical Entertainment, major studio films have more discreet watermarking. Upon the characters’ arrival at the palatial home, the movie suddenly becomes a sub-Tarantino comedy-of-manners, with a tonal shift as jarring as a couple of tectonic plates going at it. Patrick calls his accomplice-girlfriend “Honey-bunny” in an apparent callout to Pulp Fiction, and you can toss out the “apparent” part a few minutes later when Pulp Fiction is specifically name-checked. Some of the dialogue is amusing, but that may be due mostly to film producer (not of this film) and sometime-actor Adi Shankar, who plays acerbic accomplice K.J.—an offhanded font of sardonic delivery and aggrieved people-of-color asides. Granted, it’s easier to shine when you’re not carrying the weight of a plot that collapses on itself—without giving spoilers, it all falls apart when you consider that the elaborate plan, which contains a twist, wasn’t Clarence’s idea but Patrick’s—but Shankar nonetheless is the best thing in the movie. There are other nonsensical plot bits, one involving cleaning products that, if the rest of the plan is to be believed, wouldn’t be there—but, to be fair, the solo patrol officer who figures into the plot is an actual thing: While most LAPD patrol cars are deployed with two cops, some officers who take incident reports go solo. So, yes, give the filmmakers their due. But as the story descends into an absurd dénouement without any connection whatsoever to actual human psychology, you can see why Quentin Tarantino is Quentin Tarantino and why this knockoff Tarantino is, well, “Hollywood Heat.” Click here for cast and crew information.

Upstairs, Alex recognizes Jade’s engagement ring. Outside, Clarence gets the briefcase but pulls Patrick into the pool as he is getting out and runs around towards the front of the house. KJ comes out to the back yard and informs Patrick that Clarence isn’t who he says he is. Patrick instructs KJ to go to the front of the house to find Clarence.

Upon the characters’ arrival at the palatial home, the movie suddenly becomes a sub-Tarantino comedy-of-manners, with a tonal shift as jarring as a couple of tectonic plates going at it. Patrick calls his accomplice-girlfriend “Honey-bunny” in an apparent callout to Pulp Fiction, and you can toss out the “apparent” part a few minutes later when Pulp Fiction is specifically name-checked. Some of the dialogue is amusing, but that may be due mostly to film producer (not of this film) and sometime-actor Adi Shankar, who plays acerbic accomplice K.J.—an offhanded font of sardonic delivery and aggrieved people-of-color asides. Granted, it’s easier to shine when you’re not carrying the weight of a plot that collapses on itself—without giving spoilers, it all falls apart when you consider that the elaborate plan, which contains a twist, wasn’t Clarence’s idea but Patrick’s—but Shankar nonetheless is the best thing in the movie.

As Mae West once said, ”Every man wants to protect me, but I can’t figure out from what.” “Get the Girl” is at its best when it’s playing with what could be called White Knight Syndrome, the belief that a woman will automatically fall in love with a man who protects here, or that bizarre need some men have to be needed in every way. England’s film plays with this idea several times, especially in a few twists that illustrate how gender-based expectations can be flipped. In fact, both twists feed the concepts of damsels purposefully put in distress by those trying to protect them and the idea of a woman being a man’s property.

After leaving the bar one night and walking through the parking garage, Alex gets a text from her husband saying he will agree to sign the divorce papers. After realizing the papers are not in her bag, Clarence nearly runs over her while backing out of his parking space. Just then, a black van pulls up. A group of people in masks, one of them Patrick, abducts Clarence and Alex.

Before you continue reading, forget you like the girl. She may be nice and beautiful, but there are thousands like her out there. Getting the girl is not about showing her how much you like her, it’s about showing her that you’re worth going after. Always remember there are lot of pretty girls but you need to choose the right one.

Title:Get the Girl
Release:2017-01-27
Runtime:87 min.
Genre:Action, Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Stars:Justin Dobies, Elizabeth Whitson, Noah Segan, Daniel Quinn, Scout Taylor-Compton, Adi Shankar
Overview:A wealthy young man is conned into staging a fake kidnapping in order to be a hero and win the affection of a girl he’s madly in love with. But when one of the hired kidnappers is accidentally killed during the charade, he’s forced to actually save her life while not revealing that it’s been a ruse all along.

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