Jennifer Garner stars as Gray (the names appropriate as it matches her mood), an unfortunate woman left planning a funeral when she should be jetting off to her honeymoon in Hawaii. Her fiancé, Grady, was killed doing something sports-related days before their wedding and instead of sitting down to wedding cake, Gradys friends and family are forced to gather to mourn his death.
Lost without her man, Gray moves in with his two best friends - the quiet, organized, and thoughtful Dennis (Sam Jaeger) and Sam (Kevin Smith), the beer-guzzling, jovial buddy who spouts inspirational sayings. Also present on a temporary basis is Gradys friend Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), the only one of the bunch whos left Boulder, Colorado. Fritz, an attractive womanizer with an irresistible smile, is employed in the entertainment business and now makes his home in LA. And speaking of his irresistible smile, that asset is apparently what makes our heroine fall hard for a guy who, on the surface, appears to be as likely to settle down with one lady as he is to sprout wings.
Timothy Olyphants Fritz could have been an intriguing character had Grant not emasculated him halfway through the story. Its not Olyphants fault and he still manages to prove his worth as a romantic leading man. Sam Jaeger doesn't fare as well although, to his credit, it's mostly due to the fact we're not really given the opportunity to see what he's capable of. Playing the third banana of the bunch - and the deceaseds most reliable and grounded friend - Jaegers characters so clichéd it feels as though its been plugged into this film after appearing in dozens of other romantic comedies. Jaegers playing that dependable guy who stays quiet about his love for his best friends girl until he thinks the moment is just right to move in. Yes, weve seen it before and it hardly ever works out well for the poor guy, does it?
The Bottom Line
Susannah Grant's a terrific screenwriter but somehow she missed the boat with Catch and Release. Characters dont so much evolve in natural ways as they do flip-flop and change to suit the needs of the story. Not to spoil the movie for you, but expect a dramatic turn by Kevin Smiths character thats completely out of line with the rest of the film. Plus, its difficult to understand why Gray wouldnt have a clue her recently deceased fiancé came from a wealthy family and might just have money of his own. And why doesnt this personable woman have any friends or family of her own? Do you hear that clinking noise? Its the chains of the plot left dangling
Catch and Release was directed by Susannah Grant and is rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and some drug use.