Picks and Pans Review: Catch and Release

updated 02/05/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/05/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Juliette Lewis, Kevin Smith



In this trifling romantic drama, Garner plays a woman in Boulder, Colo., trying to cope with the accidental death of her fiancé. She's also battling her subsequent attraction to his best friend Fritz (Olyphant), whom she has always considered a womanizing smoothie. It's an impression only reinforced when she catches him having a quickie with a comely caterer during the post-funeral reception.

Catch's potentially promising premise goes nowhere. None of the characters talks or behaves like an actual person. They are merely cute constructs being moved about like talking dolls by director-writer Susannah Grant (who wrote the screenplay for In Her Shoes). Garner emotes like crazy, which only underscores her limited range as an actress, at least as evidenced here. Olyphant (of HBO's Deadwood) has a dazzlingly white smile, which he flashes often in the absence of much else to do. And another thing: Why would the athletic Garner fall for a guy as puny-looking as Olyphant? The guy is so slim-hipped he looks like he needs an industrial-strength belt just to keep his jeans at pelvic level. (PG-13)



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