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Movie Review

'Girl' wastes Hudson, and local setting

Kate Hudson and Dane Cook in ''My Best Friend's Girl,'' which was filmed in Boston. Kate Hudson and Dane Cook in ''My Best Friend's Girl,'' which was filmed in Boston. (claire folger/lionsgate)
By Wesley Morris
Globe Staff / September 20, 2008
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The inexplicable romantic comedy career of Dane Cook marches on. In Kate Hudson, Cook appears to have found a woman who can both withstand his obnoxiousness and sometimes surpass it. The occasion is "My Best Friend's Girl," another of Cook's gimmicky vehicles that probably couldn't score the free 200 points on the SAT. In "Good Luck Chuck," he was a charm that got women married. Now men hire him to be such a heathen on dates with the women they've wronged that his crassness makes them seem princely. Cook's roommate (Jason Biggs) is obsessed with Hudson and hires him to work his magic. Naturally, he falls in love, and what took most episodes of "Friends" 22 minutes to resolve, here requires about an hour and 40.

There's a cheap thrill in watching Hudson defuse Cook's pig antics with some foulness of her own. I don't know, for instance, how far it advances the cause of women at the movies to enjoy watching Hudson shout along to one of 2 Live Crew's skank odes. But I laughed while she rapped dirty, mostly out of surprise. I used to think Hudson was above such crummy faux-romantic eyesores, but that's how she's paying her cable bill these days - "You, Me, and Dupree," "Fool's Gold," now this, another movie that looks like it was made by no one who cared.

In fact, Howard Deutch made it. A veteran of canceled shows and pitiful sequels whose originals he didn't direct ("The Odd Couple II," say), Deutch is a master of seeming as though he's never made a movie before. His first film was "Pretty in Pink" so many semesters ago. And before "My Best Friend's Girl," it was "The Whole Ten Yards."

It's worth noting that Deutch shot this movie in Boston, and what the film lacks in actual Bostonians, aside from Cook, it makes up with gratuitous helicopter shots above Back Bay and the South End - more Google Earth than cinema. But if the movie doesn't work as romantic comedy (Jordan Cahan's script seems like it was written with some buddies to cope with the tedium of their Fantasy Football draft), it succeeds in making this city seem like the last place you'd want to have sex.

Wesley Morris can be reached at wmorris@globe.com. For more on movies, go to www.boston .com/movienation.

My Best Friend's Girl

Directed by: Howard Deutch

Written by: Jordan Cahan

Starring: Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, Jason Biggs, and Alec Baldwin

At: Boston Common, Fenway, suburbs

Running time: 109 minutes

Rated: R (strong language and sexual content throughout, including graphic dialogue and some nudity)

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