Movie Review – The Right Kind of Wrong

Thanks to eONE we got to see the romantic comedy The Right Kind of Wrong (TRKW) ahead of its DVD release on May 14th May.

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Not since the days of There’s Something About Mary, has a film utilised the ‘stalker’ approach to romance to plot the story of its protagonist. In TRKW director, Jeremiah S. Chechik (The Avengers), attempts to convince viewers that stalking is not creepy, terrifying or anti-social but, in fact, a cute and an endearing way to tell someone you ‘love them’(I’ll remember that one next time I’m in court). And through the use of a charming, likeable lead character in Leo Palamino, played by Ryan Kwanten, he almost pulls it off.

Palamino is a failed writer come dishwasher, who’s good at juggling plates and cups and loves his job for its simplicity and lack of stress. But his life is in a downward spiral beginning with him having lost a publication deal due to his stubbornness.

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The beginning of the film focuses on Leo’s long suffering wife (played by Kristin Hager) telling him she’s writing a blog about all the ways that he sucks, ingeniously titled ‘Why You Suck’, in an attempt to shock him out of the lethargy that defines his existence. Needless to say it fails and the two split, whilst the blog becomes an instant success an, ironically, she lands a publishing deal which makes Leo an international laughing stock, adding insult to injury.

Not one to miss an opportunity, Leo uses the notoriety to sleep with as many girls as he can until he meets the girl of his dreams, Colette (Sara Canning) but there’s one catch – it’s on her wedding day. From here the underdog story begins (as does the stalking) with Palamino going to extreme and creepy lengths to get the girl.

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The problem with TRKW is that Leo’s actions don’t merit him getting the girl in the end especially as the chemistry between the two characters is virtually non-existent. In fact, there is much more chemistry between Kwanten and his ex-wife Hagen whom I can’t help but think was cast in the wrong role and should have been the lead, particularly as Canning’s performance has all the warmth and charm of rock.

Some of the best comedic moments come from Palamino’s eccentric married friend Neil, played by the zany but sincere Will Sasso, who enjoys an indiscreet sex life with his wife that has culminated in her creating a twitter account for his testicles – much to the bewilderment of Palaminio.

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This is where the film touches on true love as Neil fears his wife is having an affair – paranoia brought on by his love for her. She restores his faith in her when she exhibits her art showcase which turns out to be all based on her husband, which has a sweetness to it which the film has sorely lacked until this point.

Another beacon of humour is Tess, Canning’s mother, played by Catherine O’Hara. Her dry sense of humour draws laughter from the viewer each time she appears (a pity she is not used often enough). In fact, O’Hara has possibly the funniest line in the film that demonstrates the capability of the writer and shows what the film could have been: ‘If I were twenty years younger and not in a committed polyamorous relationship with some people in Anchorage…’. Unfortunately, such glimpses of comedy are few and far (very far in some cases) between.

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Getting back to the unbelievable, Tess does not like the perfect man her daughter has chosen – a lawyer called Danny played by Ryan McPartlin. But her quick approval of the cavalier and indifferent attitude that Leo shows to daughters nuptials, is another element of the film that viewers are forced to try and believe in for the sake of the film.

TRKW suffers from a poor screenplay and less than likeable characters. Whilst Kwanten plays the affable Leo well, the voice over that punctuates many of the scenes is annoying an unnecessary. Key characters are poorly used whilst some characters leave viewers wishing they had less screen time.

The Right Kind of Wrong may not be a classic but it has genuine moments of humour that make it worthy of a night in under the covers with that special one – whilst the guy who’s stalking you in an attempt to convince you you’re with the wrong man is breathing heavily on the living room window.

The Right Kind of Wrong – DVD release on May 14th