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Catch and Release (2006)

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A woman struggles to accept the death of her fiancé and the secrets he kept from her as she rebuilds her life.

Director:

Susannah Grant

Writer:

Susannah Grant
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Popularity
4,972 ( 56)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Garner ... Gray
Timothy Olyphant ... Fritz
Sam Jaeger ... Dennis
Kevin Smith ... Sam
Juliette Lewis ... Maureen
Joshua Friesen Joshua Friesen ... Mattie
Fiona Shaw ... Mrs. Douglas
Tina Lifford ... Eve
Georgia Craig ... Persephone
Christopher Redman ... Flower Delivery Guy
Joyce Krenz ... Housekeeper
Sonja Bennett ... Caterer
Yorgo Constantine ... Co-Worker
Dan Parker Dan Parker ... Deadhead Singer
Nancy Hower Nancy Hower ... Deadhead Singer
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Storyline

After the sudden death of her fiancé, Gray Wheeler finds comfort in the company of his friends: lighthearted and comic Sam, hyper-responsible Dennis, and, oddly enough, his old childhood buddy Fritz, an irresponsible playboy whom she'd previously pegged as one of the least reliable people in the world. As secrets about her supposedly perfect fiancé emerge, Gray comes to see new sides of the man she thought she knew, and at the same time, finds herself drawn to the last man she ever expected to fall for. Written by Columbia Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is messy...love is messier.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Catch & Release See more »

Filming Locations:

Boulder, Colorado, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,658,898, 28 January 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$15,269,668, 18 February 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cable)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jennifer Garner was pregnant while filming this movie. See more »

Goofs

A plate Sam is holding in his right hand momentarily disappears, then reappears, in the scene at the peace garden dedication when Dennis tells Sam he is planning to move out. See more »

Quotes

Gray: My girlfriends and I used to have a rule that we wouldn't sleep with a guy until we knew his mother's maiden name.
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Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Mornings Eleven
(2005)
Written by Romeo Stodart and Michele Stodart
Performed by The Magic Numbers
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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User Reviews

 
Plot-wise unsurprising, but buoyed by Garner's charm
27 December 2006 | by anhedoniaSee all my reviews

I saw "Catch and Release" a couple of months ago, the first screening, writer-director Susannah Grant said, of the final cut. It was a very friendly audience, but watching the movie, I couldn't help but feel Grant could have and should have done better.

The film opens promisingly, teasing us and playing with our expectations as we first see Gray (Jennifer Garner) and the circumstances she finds herself in. However, Grant never quite builds on that initial promise and soon "Catch and Release" meanders into traditional romantic comedy territory, complete with the obligatory playful and lovable sidekick - in this case, Sam (Kevin Smith) - and the friend harboring a romantic secret of his own, Dennis (Sam Jaeger).

The crux of the story is Gray's realization that her life is being turned upside down because of what she finds out about a loved one. And - I'm giving away no secrets here, because it is, after all, a romantic comedy - the blossoming romance between her and Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), who at first is seemingly wrong for her. But wanna guess if that will change?

The star of the film is undoubtedly Garner. Just as she did in "13 Going on 30" (2004), she again takes what should be a pedestrian film and boosts it considerably with her undeniable charm. She has a smile that melts the hardest heart and although "Catch and Release" can never shake its conventions, whenever the film entertains, it's mostly because of Garner. She imbues Gray with a vulnerability that's utterly convincing.

Smartly, Grant also gives Smith - essentially playing himself with cleaner language - the film's funniest lines. They're not anything novel, but it's typical Kevin Smith. She also tags on a romantic interest for Sam. It's no surprise, because Grant cannot break the shackles of the genre for something original. You can see the pairing long before it actually happens on screen.

Juliette Lewis seems an oddity in this film. I've not seen her in a film for years and her character tends to grate a bit. Lewis is a good actress, but she seems to get typecast in these off-kilter roles and there's an unmistakable sense we've seen this performance from her before.

Olyphant plays sleazy well - just watch him in the otherwise-forgettable "The Girl Next Door" (2004). In "Catch and Release," his caddish boor actually is a facade. Turns out, this chap's actually a nice guy. He has to be. After all, he has Gray to win over and Grant's doing this by-the-numbers.

And therein lies the film's problem. Despite Grant's admirable attempt to spin the romantic comedy's meet-cute moment, it's hard to believe Gray would fall for a chap who, for the lack of a better phrase, finds carnal comfort at the most unlikely occasions.

Of course, "Catch and Release" has a certain sweetness about it. How can it not when Garner's so adorable. It's polished, looks good; a cut above, say, the odd independent romcoms that tackle the trials and tribulations, the angst and adoration among a group of good friends. But it offers nothing new and relies on a few too many "movie" moments to elicit laughs. Some of those moments are funny, but you get the impression they're not exactly rooted in any realm of reality. Yet, Grant seems to want to lend her story a sense of reality, one that deals with love, loss and forgiveness.

Grant said when she recut her film, she was forced to excise some of Fritz's back story. It doesn't seem warranted, but there seems to be something missing from Fritz. We know the story's moving to get Gray and Fritz together - this is a freakin' Hollywood studio-produced romantic comedy, after all - but it all seems too orchestrated from the beginning.

Is it too much to ask a Hollywood romantic-comedy writer to be even slightly daring? Hollywood-produced romantic comedies, by their very nature, are predictable. You know going in the girl and the guy will wind up together, so it's the journey that is supposed to thrill us. Maybe even surprise us. Grant, however, chooses the safest, and therefore, least surprising, path. She hits all the points a screen writing guru without an ounce of originality would demand be seen in a romcom script. The only novelty here is that Grant got some attractive, appealing and talented actors for her directorial debut. It is they who keep this extremely conventional story from turning unbearable. Though, even Garner's considerable cuteness cannot salvage the film's ending.


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