Catch and Release is appropriately dubbed as a chick flick. Written by Susannah Grant, who also makes her directorial debut, is responsible for the screenwriting of some rather dismal movies in the past, including Ever After, Erin Brockovich, and 28 Days. Although I hint at a dislike for romantic comedies, I’ll have you know that in the past I have enjoyed several, and am going into this completely unbiased.
The movie starts off on a sad note, Grey (Jennifer Garner) a grieving a…most widow mourns the death of her fiancé Grady. Originally they were to be married on that day, but due to an accident on a fishing trip, Grady was killed. Dealing with the loss in her own way, Grey sits in a bathtub where she can be alone with her thoughts. Before long, Grady’s friend Fritz (Timothy Olyphant) bursts in and seduces a waitress. Waiting until the woman leaves, Grey reveals herself and tells Fritz she never understood why Grady was his friend.
Grey soon realizes that without Grady around she can no longer afford to live in the house that they were supposed to share, and moves in with Grady’s old roommates Dennis and Sam (Kevin Smith). Although Grady had over a million dollars in savings, because the two were not actually married, she will receive no money from his estate and his mother even asks Grey for the family ring back. Although getting along with her new roommates, everything else is falling apart for Grey, especially when she finds out that her fiancé had fathered a four year old child in LA. Things get even more complicated when Maureen (Juliette Lewis) and her son show up when they are no longer receiving the $3,000 Grady would send them every month. As a group, everyone tries to deal with what is happening, and Grady’s mother persists on a DNA test. With all this happening, Grey and Fritz begin to develop a connection and fall in love, but not without any complications.
Catch and Release is dubbed as a romantic comedy, although I’d personally label it as a romantic drama with the slight chuckle every now and then. This movie was rather weak, yet another typical Hollywood romance – predictable and done to death. Although included is a typical ending, I’m sure it’ll be a hit for some women and/or those who enjoy the genre. For me the dialogue was really dragged out, the characters were uninteresting and poorly portrayed (with the exception of Jennifer Garner and Timothy Olyphant). In my opinion, Kevin Smith is one of the more overrated, out of work directors out there. As far as his acting goes, I think he is much better suited for roles like Silent Bob. In addition to being disappointed with Smith, I was definitely not impressed when Juliette Lewis showed up on the screen. I thought I had seen the last of her several years ago, but sure enough she was able to poorly perform in another role. To pick up some slack, both Jennifer Garner and Timothy Olyphant played some decent roles, their characters of course being the focus of the movie were the only ones with some depth to them, making the film better than it would have otherwise been. Aside from a few decent performances the film was really boring and completely unfunny, really nothing worth checking out.
Presented in both 1.33:1 full screen and 2.40:1 widescreen, Catch and Release hits DVD with a rather average looking video transfer. On the plus side, the colors were rather solid, ranging from some nice outdoor scenes to vibrant indoor scenes, never looking overly saturated or dull. The grain was kept to a minimum throughout the picture and artifacts of any kind were not to be seen. The main problem for me however was the extreme softness in numerous scenes; detail was muted quite often due to this. Overall, Catch and Release looked a bit amount better than your average release, but at the same not offering anything impressive, just your standard DVD.
Sony has included a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, and it does well with the films heavy dialogue. As expected in a dialogue driven film, Catch and Release heavily relies on the front channels, luckily everything sounds exceptionally well coming from them. In a few scenes, such as the one where the group goes fishing next to a river, the soundstage is more full, helping the movie from sounding completely flat. In the end, Catch and Release sounded pretty decent, although it wasn’t anything beyond that.
Fans will surely disappointed to hear that the only features found on this disc are two audio commentary (the first with Director Susanna Grant and actor Kevin Smith; the second with Director Susanna Grant and Cinematographer John Lindley), trailers and some previews for other Sony titles.
Nothing special here, just a completely average disc. The film was rather poor, the audio and video were nothing impressive and the features were dismal. Maybe worth a rental for a relaxing evening at home with your significant other, but really nothing more than that. If you want to see this movie, then rent because it is definitely not worth the purchase.
Special Features List
- Two audio commentaries
- Trailers and previews