Review of 6 Month Rule

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A womanizer teaches his clueless friend the rules of being single and how to avoid getting attached
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Movie Review: "6 Month Rule" --

Rating: R (language, sexual references)
Length: 100 minutes
Release Date: June 1, 2012
Directed by: Blayne Weaver
Genre: Comedy/Romance
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Most romantic comedies are somewhat formulaic. Girl and boy meet, they fall in love, they break up and then, by the end of the movie, they get back together again. The movie "6 Month Rule" follows this outline until the final act, when a few surprising twists set it apart from standard romantic comedy fare.

Blayne Weaver, the writer and director of the film, also plays the leading male role. He is Tyler, a man who follows many self-made rules in life. He talks about these rules to his friends, especially best friend Alan (Martin Starr), who has just gotten out of a 3-year engagement. Alan has fallen on dark times since the breakup. He doesn't seem to care about work or life and can't be bothered to peel himself off of the sofa long enough to do anything other than listen to Tyler's rules.

One of Tyler's rules is that it only takes up to six months to recover from any failed relationship. There are likely to be plenty in the audience who disagree with this assessment. Alan, considering the depressed state he is in, wholeheartedly disagrees. The problem is, when it comes to the rules, Tyler has no objectivity. He believes his rules are absolutely correct, and nobody can tell him any different. This makes the character a bit unlikeable from the start.

The other reason Tyler is unlikeable is that he is a womanizer who is deathly afraid of commitment. He spends the first part of the movie hopping from bed to bed with beautiful women. There is one redeeming factor about Tyler's womanizing - he can't get just any girl. The film is quick to show that for every woman he beds, there are an equal number of women who see right through him and reject him.

One woman who rejects Tyler is Sophie (Natalie Morales). When Tyler and Sophie meet, there is an instant attraction. The audience can tell right away that she might be the woman Tyler falls in love with, and Tyler can see this too. See, one of his rules is that there is the type of girl you go for, because she is safe and won't hurt you. There is also the type you don't go for, because it could lead to love. Tyler treats love like something to be avoided because he is afraid of getting hurt. He feels himself falling for Sophie and realizes she is the one he wants.

The middle part of the film is about how Tyler tries to get over his fear of love and commitment in order to woo Sophie. There is a sequence where the two spend countless hours talking and getting to know one another as they fall deeper into love. Through this sequence, the audience learns that Sophie is just as flawed as Tyler is, which is why they may be perfect for each other.

Though it is billed as a romantic comedy, "6 Month Rule" works as a drama as well. There are some particularly touching scenes between Tyler and Alan, as the two friends try and work through their respective relationship problems. Martin Starr does an excellent job playing the voice of reason in Tyler's skewed worldview. Though Tyler initially comes off like an immature cad, he begins to mature by the end of the movie. Though Sophie has something to do with it, a lot of that maturity must be credited to Alan.

The script is a little uneven in some places and some of the jokes fall a little flat. Despite this, "6 Month Rule" works because the characters, and the situations they find themselves in, are believable. Too often, romantic comedies try to be cute or precious and end up being unbelievable. That is not the case in this film. The characters never strain credulity, which is a testament to Weaver's work.

Instead of the usual romantic comedy ending, "6 Month Rule" takes a big detour. It is an enjoyable one, though it does take a long time to get there. If you have patience and can sit through the predictable first half of the movie, you will be rewarded with a great ending. It is almost as if Weaver sets the audience up for a predictable movie on purpose, simply to give them a curveball at the end. That curveball is what sets "6 Month Rule" apart from its contemporaries.