Film

Rom-Com Lovesick Asks If Characters in All Rom-Coms Are a Little Psycho

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Luke Matheny takes his title literally in Lovesick, a romantic comedy in which falling in love triggers a psychotic reaction in his protagonist.

An affable elementary-school principal played by Matt LeBlanc, Charlie is initially unaware that his tendency to connect nonexistent dots and convince himself of increasingly bizarre scenarios of infidelity is the reason his relationships fail. Turns out his ex-girlfriend did not, in fact, run off with a rodeo clown.

His latest trigger is a dancer named Molly (Ali Larter), who in Charlie’s self-destructive mind is too good to be true. The ensuing hijinks (leaving her dozens of messages, flying to Italy to ensure she isn’t having an affair with Dr. Oz) don’t so much make the case that Charlie is especially out there — rather, they suggest that all sweeping gestures carried out by rom-com protagonists are linked to psychosis. Larter brings a helpful calm to the manic proceedings, while Chevy Chase is very Chevy Chase–y as the pervert neighbor whose eccentricities enable Charlie’s own.

“Just because you’re crazy doesn’t mean crazy things aren’t happening to you,” Chase’s character says, by way of encouragement. It’s part of a larger habit of treating Charlie’s relationship-killing jealousy as an endearing quirk rather than the serious problem it is, but LeBlanc and Larter carry the day with a spectrum of charm missing from too many entries in this shaky, persistent genre.