Catch and Release

Rated 2.0

Overrated Erin Brockovich screenwriter Susannah Grant makes an unimpressive directorial debut with her own unimpressive screenplay, a limp romantic-dramedy. Jennifer Garner plays a Boulder, Colo., woman coping with the sudden death of her fiancé, reluctantly discovering his unpleasant secrets and looking good over poignant indie-pop. She’s a woman for whom grieving the man apparently means moving in with his buddies, which of course leads to complications, like a tryst with fellow pretty person Timothy Olyphant. There’s a message in Catch and Release about how people, or at least movie characters, can surprise you, but Grant’s flabby script and artless direction squander her otherwise laudable ambition to tackle romantic grief with grace. The movie’s female solace seems cheaply won, and its male-psyche insight conveniently abbreviated. Hence, Kevin Smith as one of the buddies is the best thing about it.