The life of a superhero isn't all spandex and adoration. Consider the trials of G-Girl, the secret identity of mousy Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman), gallery assistant by day and chic caped crusader by night. Dinner dates get constantly interrupted by the need to go out and save humanity; romantic evenings at home with new boyfriend Matt (Luke Wilson) get stopped short when she realizes — horrors! — that she's forgotten to change out of her G-Girl tank top. On the other hand, there are advantages: When a superhero realizes that her boyfriend's ready to dump her, she's got plenty of retaliation tactics available — such as searing a nasty word onto his forehead, or instantly boiling the water in his goldfish's bowl.
"My Super Ex-Girlfriend," simply by having a genuinely funny idea at its core, is one of the summer's better comedies, and director Ivan Reitman and the cast give it a straight-faced silliness. Thurman, constantly morphing from brunette Jenny to blond, Amazonian G-Girl (whose tresses are always wafting alluringly in the breeze, even when she's indoors), shows genuine screwball chops. When a car tossed by G-Girl goes awry, Thurman does a perfect little "ah, well" eye roll; these things happen. In contrast to G-Girl's superhuman calm, Jenny is sweetly neurotic; she's like a mildly insane kitten. Wilson, in the less showy role, nicely underplays unlucky Matt, and Rainn Wilson, Anna Faris and Eddie Izzard (as the polka-dot-clad villain Professor Bedlam) are funny sidekicks.
Scripted by first-timer Don Payne, "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" has bumpy spots. A character played by Wanda Sykes feels entirely unnecessary (despite Sykes doing her huffy best), and the movie seems to take too long to get to the breakup. But there's a breezy summer-comedy goofiness to it that's very welcome, and it's full of nicely timed comic bits: Faris' bug-eyed, earnest delivery of the line "Why did G-Girl throw a shark at us?" is almost worth the admission price right there. This movie will vanish quickly, like summer's heat, but it's fun while it lasts.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or email@example.com