Movie Review: ‘The Competition’

Review by James Lindorf

Two years ago, a short film written by Kelsey Tucker called The PIG Theory was released and on Friday, January 26th, her feature length adaptation hits theaters. Newly titled, The Competition is directed by the in-demand Harvey Lowry (Christmas in the Heartland). Thora Birch (American Beauty) stars as Lauren, who becomes a viral hit with 2 million followers when she launches a blog promoting “The PIG Theory.” The PIG Theory insists you can enjoy all that romance has to offer, but only for six months. Lauren is a beacon of light for her followers, but Lauren’s sister, Gena, is concerned and introduces Lauren to the perfect man, Calvin, played by Chris Klein (American Pie). When the relationship hits the crossroad of who’s path it will go down, Lauren’s or Calvin’s, the only answer is a competition! Calvin will pick five friends who have been in a relationship for longer than six months, and Lauren will pick the seducer to be their downfall. If three out of five cheats, Calvin must walk away, but if three out of five resist temptations, Lauren must shut down her blog and open her heart to Calvin.

The film is a mix of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and What’s Your Number? A quirky couple comes together over a competition about promiscuity and infidelity. Unfortunately, this film lacks much of the charm of those two films and replaces it with cheesiness. However, it is not all bad. It has some fun scenes and a cute message about how love can conquer all. It is well shot, the music (outside of the opening credits song) is good, but can go by unnoticed, and everyone puts in a serviceable performance. I think the highlight is the performance of Claire Coffee (Grimm) as Gena. She loves her sister and owns who she is, even if her family doesn’t always approve. I also liked that they touched on the fact that women are just as capable of infidelity as men and how difficult a love life can be after the addition of children.

One flaw I the writing is that Lauren is the only character that has any kind of an arc when the movie is over. The rest are flimsy one-dimensional characters, solely there to support the plot. Calvin is the typical dream guy. He is successful, attractive and passionate about many causes, but we never learn anything about him below the surface. Pacing is also a problem. Most of the central relationship is shown in a montage, making it difficult develop an investment in them as a couple. There is also the fact that they are not good people. They are willing to sabotage the relationships of their “friends” for their own gain.

I think I would enjoy a rom-com with this entire creative team, the writer, director and cast, but in a different, more focused story. While it may not be overly memorable, with a runtime of 103 minutes, the film passes by quickly and is a prefect way to pass a lazy weekend afternoon.

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