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Film Review: “Playing it cool” (2014)


Michelle Monaghan and Chris Evans are very talented actors, who I am sure deserve to get a better project in order to shine. But maybe they have reached a point in their careers where they are free to choose any project they want. This is why they probably found the screenplay of PLAYING IT COOL so interesting that they agreed to be part of it. Unfortunately it did not matter much how hard Evans and Monaghan tried to make this film entertaining, it still had some issues that could not be overcome.

A writer, played by Chris Evans, is disenchanted by love, and does everything to not fall in love… until the moment he meets an engaged woman, played by Michelle Monaghan, and he does fall in love. Without fear of being rejected, the young man begins a platonic relationship with her in hopes of winning her heart.

PLAYING IT COOL begins with the narrating voice of a writer, Chris Evans, who introduces himself as a screenwriter who is having trouble meeting his deadline. However, he seems very dedicated and finally begins to connect the dots.  While at a charity event, he meets her (Michelle Monaghan) and is immediately amazed by her beauty and simplicity. Even though our hero has never believed in love and is disappointed with the feeling itself, he realizes that for the first time ever his heart is beating fast and hard.

For a time we see him running from place to place to find the girl of his dreams, while we must listen to unnecessary and pointless discussions with his friends. And, when he finally finds her, the film becomes obvious and predictable, but this is not a bad thing. It shows us how his feelings for her are pure and innocent. It makes him reconsider his approach to women and act differently.

Even though sometimes PLAYING IT COOL manages to keep the audience interested, Evans and Monaghan have to try to look as sensitive as possible to keep the story going. And the narrating voice of Evans interferes in every single scene, which as a result, distracts us from the main story itself. Evans character appears to have many other personalities hiding in his head (but no worries, it is not mental illness). As a writer he must use his imagination in order to keep things moving, unfortunately, this was way too much and easily annoys and bores the viewer.

It is amazing to see how Justin Reardon directs his first featured film. Having interesting material in his hands, but not well developed, he manages to bring the actors together and make PLAYING IT COOL better than it is on paper. Sometimes it`s funny, sometimes boring, sometimes it’s just entertaining, like life itself. However, this is not enough to consider Reardon`s film a big success. It is still watchable because of the tender approach and softness of both actors, Evans/Monaghan, who look very good together on the screen.

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