'This Means War' Examiner.com Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
The rule among friends not to let a potential mate come between them and ruin their relationship is an important one many people strive to live by. But the new romantic comedy action film ‘This Means War,’ which is now playing at area Long Island theaters, aims to amusingly show the lengths men will go to compete for a woman’s affections, no matter how the rivalry ultimately affects their working and personal relationships. Unfortunately, the overstated emphasis on the stunts and action in the film and the lack of character development takes away from the movie’s true potential.
‘This Means War’ follows successful executive Lauren (played by Reese Witherspoon), who is tired of being alone and decides to start dating again. Having moved to Los Angeles to be with an old boyfriend and subsequently being dumped, Lauren begins to feel lonely, as she left behind her family and friends in Atlanta. While she loves her job in L.A. and has a great friend in Trish (portrayed by Chelsea Handler), Lauren wants to find love again.
After Trish signs Lauren up on a dating website, she meets CIA operative Tuck (played by Tom Hardy), and begins to fall for him. Later the same day, Lauren also meets Tuck’s best friend and fellow operative, FDR Foster (portrayed by Chris Pine), at a video store, and she decides to date both men. When FDR and Tuck realize they’re dating the same woman, they decide to keep that fact to themselves, and battle each other to see who can become the right match for Lauren.
The underlying premise of ‘This Means War,’ in which two different men trying to win the heart of the same career-driven and independent woman, played by Witherspoon, is unfortunately similar to one of the Oscar winner’s recent flops, 2010’s ‘How Do You Know.’ Witherspoon had a genuine effort in both romantic comedies to showcase the difficulties women face in the dating world, and the continuous questioning of what they should do if they become attracted to two diverse men. However, much like ‘How Do You Know,’ the male characters of ‘This Means War’ are unfortunately trite and predictable, leading viewers to question why Lauren would be interested in either one.
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