There’s a lot of talk about being crazy in Paco Cabezas’ violent romantic comedy, Mr. Right. Young Martha (Anna Kendrick) endlessly tells herself (and her friends) that she’s crazy for the way she lubricates herself after finding out her boyfriend is cheating on her. Dashing Francis (Sam Rockwell) dons a rubber clown nose and dances his way through a parade of bullets while nonchalantly dispatching the people he’s been hired to kill.
With all that proposed lunacy, it’s no surprise that Martha and Francis make a simpatico couple when they finally “meet-cute” in a convenience store. The real question becomes – once Martha finds out the true identity of this charming, funny guy – will she stay or will she run?
Even though this tired and generic story arc is regurgitated once again here, the performances and energy of both Kendrick and Rockwell save Mr. Right from out and out boredom. In fact, the banter between the two leads is the primary reason to see Mr. Right. They both feel comfortable and effortless as the odd couple growing to appreciate each other inside a budding relationship.
Less effortless is the way Mr. Right swings between rom-com and violent action movie, but I get the idea all the language and blood and gunfire are easy marketing ploys to attract an audience for an otherwise tame comedy. Locked in this other movie are people like Tim Roth as an ex-operative buddy of Francis, hunting him down for some unspecified incident in Serbia.
Likewise, Francis’ new client (James Ransone) has hired him to kill his brother in an attempt to take over the family business. All of these extraneous subplots veer Mr. Right into a Tarantino-esque knock off where people say cute things right before they pull the trigger or some twist from an unknown hand carries the scene into another direction entirely.
Yet, if one can block out all the explosive noise from those parts of the film (or better yet, give up and enjoy them on their own terms) and concentrate on the semi-sweet relationship between Kendrick and Rockwell, then there’s a nice little comedy buried beneath the rubble. As two actors who consistently give perky, unpredictable and honest performances, their streak continues in Mr. Right. It’s just a shame one has to squint to fully enjoy them.
Mr. Right opens in the Dallas/Fort Worth area on Friday, April 8 at the AMC Mesquite.