Romcoms. The movies that leave us cringing and wondering “why?” but ones that we’re ultimately going to see anyway. She’s Out Of My League tells the story of an average Joe who meets his perfect woman. The movie opens March 12.
North by Northwestern participated in a conference call with Jay Baruchel (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and Nate Torrence (Get Smart). The stars talked about April Fools’ Day, whether Elisha Cuthbert really is out of Baruchel’s league and their upcoming film.
Do you think that this film has the potential to be a classic of this generation?
Jay: Oh my gosh. Well if it isn’t, we’ll eat these words. I think that [the movie] could hit a nerve. I’ll just be psyched if kids dig it at all.
Nate: But I definitely think there is potential… it’s the kind of movie that people will tell their friends to watch. And I think it might be the DVD kind of thing that gets passed around a lot. So, maybe a cult classic?
Director Jim Field Smith has a background in sketch comedy and this was his first big feature film. How does that sort of directing experience stretch over to working on this movie?
Nate: Well, he was also a sketch performer in his own right, so his mind is just wired comedically and so he always knew what was funny… I think he had pretty good instincts. What about you?
Jay: Totally. I think he did a great job as far as not only letting us play, but also being able to control the tone of it all. And yes, I think he did an amazing job for a first timer. I was never worried. He’s a funny guy.
What personal touches have you added to your characters to make them seem more — not just a caricature — but more of a guy people can relate to?
Nate: I think all of us really tried as hard as we [could], not just with characters, but with the whole movie. We wanted to make it reality… and he let us play [the part] all the way…. Even with our lunch scene we all got to choose what we thought our character would eat.
Jay: And I was the smart one. I chose to eat nothing because I know how gross it is to eat on camera. But you’ve got to make [the characters] sympathetic and accessible…. So it’s a question of just inserting yourself a bit more into it at certain points.
I know you both have a background in comedy acting, and with April Fool’s Day coming up, what’s the best April Fool’s Day joke you’ve played or that has been played on you?
Nate: You know, I guess it’s not even about the joke as much as it was about the time in my life. I was in fourth grade. I Saran-wrapped my dad’s toilet and put baby powder on all the fans in our house. I thought I was brilliant. It may not be the greatest joke as an adult, but man to a fourth grader, I seriously was like the MacGyver of April Fools’. I was amazing.
Jay: I covered a phone receiver in hand lotion and then called said phone.
Nate: Well done, well played, check and mate.
Jay: Check and mate.
I was wondering what it was like working with Jim Field Smith, compared to Judd Apatow or Ben Stiller?
Jay: I mean each thing is its own… It’s a different beast. Jim was a sketch comedy actor and a director over in England, so his mind is wired a certain way and he has his own sensibility. I guess the connection between the three of them would be that they all allowed me to ad lib. Mind you, I don’t really give anyone much choice. I will ad-lib no matter what. Whether or not they use it is a whole different story. I think the main difference would be [Jim Field Smith’s] quintessential dry, English humor.
This question’s more for Jay. When you co-hosted Canadian TV show, “Popular Mechanics for Kids,” with Elisha Cuthbert…
… Even then was she out of your league?
Jay: What makes you think she was ever out of my league?
Jay: Let me make sure you heard the name right. Listen, I know it’s slim pickings in Alberta sometimes but no… you’re killing me here… I think I’m going to have to go with no comment, my friend.
Jay, you’ve found in a niche for yourself — and I mean this in the nicest possible sense –
Jay: Oh God, here it is.
As the nice dweeby guy. How similar would you say you are to this character type?
Jay: Oh gosh… I’d like to think I’m nice. I’ve spent a lot of time by myself, so in those respects, I’m similar. I think I’m a lot crazier than people know — I also grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in Montreal so I guess that lends something to it. I think close enough, but that’s definitely not me 100 percent.
Why do you think this movie will appeal to college students and what makes it different from other romantic comedies?
Nate: That’s a good question. What makes it different is that the heart of the movie has a chutzpah to it, [which] kind of elevates it. I really think that we have four sympathetic characters and there’s not a there’s not a douche bag among us. Not to say other movies do, but I think that this time, it’s four nice guys. And what college students will like about it — it’s a hell of a fun way to spend two hours.
Could you describe a little bit what the dynamics were like on set, and are there any interesting stories that you’d be able to share from filming?
Jay: Some of them. Nate got me an awesome birthday present.
Nate: That’s a nice one.
Jay: The dynamic on the set was much the dynamic of this phone conversation. It was… a lot of laughter and wasted time permeated by moments of productivity. I ‘d say we all just kind of found each other real funny. Poor Jim was basically the camp counselor trying to herd us and keep us in line right.
Nate: I think it was exactly like going to camp. It was Poison Ivy.
Jay: Poison Ivy is an erotic thriller.