- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 23, 2006

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the entertainment lives of families, provides reviews of the latest movies from a parenting perspective. For more reviews, click on commonsensemedia.org.

‘My Super Ex-Girlfriend’

Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, crude humor, language and brief nudity.

Common Sense Media: Pause. For ages 13 and older.

*** (Out of five stars)

Synopsis: Energetic romantic comedy with sexual references.

Running time: 95 minutes

Common Sense note: Parents should know that although the tone remains light-comedic, the film includes frequent sexual references and images, including jokes about “close” male friendships, effeminate men and domineering women.

There are three sex scenes; a character makes repeated sexual remarks about women; and a black supervisor at work discusses sexual harassment and feels offended when Matt carelessly calls her “homegirl.”

Violence is cartoonish and frequent. Characters drink wine and beer. The villain smokes cigarettes.

Families can discuss effective ways to “break up” with boy- and girlfriends. How does the movie’s comic violence make fun of this usually painful process? How does the film show that teasing in high school can lead to long-lasting hurt feelings? How might Jenny have treated her friend Barry more generously?

Common Sense review: Energetic and deliberately absurd, “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” makes fun of comic-book/action movie and romantic comedy conventions. Written by former “Simpsons” scribe Don Payne and directed by Ivan Reitman, the movie also takes a few jabs at traditional gender roles, not to mention typical anxieties concerning sex and commitment.

When Matt (Luke Wilson) first meets Jenny (Uma Thurman) on a New York City subway, he thinks she’s demure and sweet. When he recovers her purse from a mugger, he feels empowered, even if he did hide in a Dumpster with the purse.

However, as the newly forming couple walks off down an alley, the camera cranes up to show the would-be robber hanging from a grate four stories up, where Jenny has thrown him. Now you know: Her secret identity is G-Girl, blond superhero and local celebrity.

When she reveals this secret to Matt, he’s thrilled initially, even though she makes him feel “emasculated” when she takes him flying (and has sex with him midair). Although his best friend, Vaughn (Rainn Wilson), is impressed, Jenny has some long-standing issues: She felt like an outcast in high school until she came upon a glowing meteorite. She touched it and exploded, then developed instant superpowers and became popular (abandoning her best friend, a fellow outcast named Barry).

Still, she has remained insecure and needy, and soon, Matt can’t take it anymore. When he breaks off the relationship, G-Girl turns vengeful.

Sexual content: Sexual situations and slang; tongue-kissing; sexual-activity jokes; Matt stripped naked in his office (you see him from behind); references to sexual harassment; a few sex scenes between the characters. Jenny’s breasts grow when she’s first transformed into G-Girl.

Language alert: Some profanity and some lively phrasing (“hellcat in bed,” etc.).

Violence alert: G-Girl thwarts robbery, mugging, fire and a missile heading to New York City. She also saves Matt, who is hanging from the Statue of Liberty. Other scenes include an explosion when Jenny touches the meteor; a shark in an apartment that bites at Matt and destroys furniture; and a fight between supergirls that wreaks havoc on the street. In a nightmare, G-Girl threatens Matt with a chain saw;

Commercialism alert: Times Square neon shows Coca-Cola and other brand names.

Social behavior alert: Characters drink wine and beer. The villain smokes cigarettes.

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