Tribeca Breakdown: "A Case of You"

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A young writer tries to impress a girl he meets online with an embellished profile, but he finds himself in a real mess when she falls for him and he has to keep up the act.
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Romantic comedies don’t have to reinvent the wheel but they should have two characters who come off like rational, non-obnoxious people, surprisingly something that many of these movies fail so miserably at. But Justin Long seems to get it, having made one of the most underrated ones in the past decade (“Going the Distance”) and another pretty good one here in “A Case of You”, a film he wrote with his brother Christian and Keir O’Donnell and directed by Kat Coiro.

Long plays Sam, a writer looking to move past writing the novelizations of popular movies and get into real writing. But where his career suffers from writers block, his personal life is probably worse. He’s a hermit and the only one he confides in is the fry cook at the Chinese restaurant who just wants him to order already. Ouch!

He is smitten by a coffee-counter girl named Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood) though, a “fly-where-her-next-dream-takes-her” type who has several key interests, which Sam immediately tries to adopt after he finds out about them on her Facebook page.

This turns into a one-joke concept where Sam bungles his way thru learning judo, the guitar, and going on a retreat and only manages a slight conflict easily resolved (although I will say the movie offers a hillarious last-act epiphany by the male lead). What works here is Coiro keeps things lite and easy-going and Long and Wood are cute and endearing together.

And the best laughs come from supporting actors like Sam Rockwell, playing a die hard “Spin Doctors” fan and guitar teacher, Peter Dinklage, as a flamboyant coffee-shop employee, and Vince Vaughn, putting on his fast-talking act as a book publisher.

Is the movie trying to make any key points about social media or relationships? Not really. But is it sweet, airy, and make you feel good? Oh yeah.