Interested in writing action than romance, he is forced to do the latter by his publisher. Forever a non-believer in love, he finds it difficult devising a love-lorn tale. When Her (Michelle Monaghan) enters the scene, inspiration strikes. Begrudgingly falling for Her, he is stunned to learn she is engaged. Despite his in-bred cynicism, Him goes to great lengths to defrost his cold heart and capture his elusive soul-mate.
Almost playing like an anti-romantic comedy, Playing it Cool gleefully delves in its subversive nature. Him and Her are both romantic cynics refusing to believe in love’s established trappings. Whilst their initial loathing of such ideals brings them together, their blooming chemistry threatens to keep them apart. Their somewhat bleak world-view refuses to surrender to anything brighter due to past regrets. Still feeling earlier familial abandonments, their bond is tested by their stubbornness.
The nicely written script is elevated by the leads’ genuine chemistry. Evans and Monaghan display amiable charm whilst successfully maintaining their character’s harsh aspects. Handling the comedy and drama with skill, their acting expertise is ably assisted by a fine ensemble. Director Justin Reardon keeps momentum going without conjuring any false sentimentality. The film’s themes of taking chances and changing one’s views are also well conveyed.
Playing it Cool is an entertaining rom-com that doesn’t out-stay its welcome. Better than most in the genre, even hardened viewers of previous, similar films should find enjoyment as lost souls find something worth fighting for.
Playing It Cool is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 7