She’s a lovelorn, quirky girl. He’s the other half who conveniently matches up to her eccentricity. Together, their personalities mesh into the seemingly appropriate recipe for a perfect unconventional couple. A story deviating from the orthodox standards of relationship? Interesting, I thought. What could go wrong? Well, it turns out that there could sometimes be too much dependency on this oh-so-kooky, odd-couple dynamic — so much so that the focus for the rest of “Mr. Right”’s plot descends into a pit of ludicrousness and sloppy execution of a generic, predictable story.

We meet our female lead, Martha (Anna Kendrick), at the outset of a bad breakup. Hurt, she makes the obvious yet unconscious decision we would all make: raising hell for one night in an effort to drown out the looming sorrow. Meanwhile, her soon-to-be Mr. Right named Francis (Sam Rockwell) is busying himself by meandering through various locations, searching for particular people — and killing them. He’s a hitman. Apparently though, he has retired from his days of casual assassination because he believes murder is morally wrong. So now he plays the reversal role of a contract killer; instead of targeting victims he’s supposed to murder, he kills those who initially hired him (the irony is strong with this one). I can’t imagine he’s got a very stable source of income if he keeps killing off his clients. What immediately follows is the typical “meet cute” in every rom-com. However, I was disappointed that their encounter was one of those hasty, impulsive love-at-first-sight scenarios, as Martha quickly rebounds for the mysterious yet loopy stranger, who also practically forces her to go out with him with the creepy pickup line, “Go out with me, or else.” (There’s something every girl wants to hear.)

As their relationship starts, the storyline grows to become sort of like a web of Tumblr users (myself included) who try to measure up to that faux hipster and dark comic vibe but, as it turns out, only have a jumble of unfunny, mildly offensive and hackneyed jokes. One that I was so particularly fond of was a scene wherein the word “pussy” was repeated over and over until an unsettling, contrived laugh dryly breezed over the audience. There is an additional plethora of senseless scenes featured to unnecessarily re-emphasize the idiosyncrasies that our nutty couple possess, like Francis’s unfazed eating of green gummy bears while in a warzone, and Martha’s out-of-the-blue Joker-esque behavior in the second half of the movie. Honestly, all of this reliability on their absurdities in insignificant scenes was probably only included to elongate a banal, formulaic rom-com that could have been told in 30 minutes.

Moreover, parts involving Martha’s fluctuating certainty toward Francis’s violent profession are always rashly resolved with a kiss and more irrelevant, “witty” exchange when genuine pivot points could have posed more conflict between the characters’ relationship — which is always more intriguing than agreement after agreement — and a more gradual climb to climax. Rather, the plot didn’t really thicken until the very end, when a damsel-in-distress cliched ending was used as a cop-out for Mr. Right to strut his moves in rated-R style, complete with gunfire, pools of blood and novice-choreographed action sequences, to get his gal back.

Even though the execution of storyline is lazy and dense, I will say that the only thing that saved the film from crashing and burning was the decent chemistry between the characters. Luckily, Kendrick and Rockwell are actually charming personalities who are capable enough to creatively twist the dialogue that would have otherwise been so lackluster that it could have caused my monotonous computer science professor to outshine it. Sadly, it’s quite common to see romantic comedies downplay their talented cast, but personally, the one thing I found myself waiting for was Kendrick and Rockwell’s screentime because I’m a sucker for sparking compatibility and rooted for their frivolous conversations, knife games and laidback connection. Sharing the same lunacy, the pair are indeed made for each other, but still, the film’s so wrapped on branding the fun wackiness and the endearing silliness of the relationship that it forgets to include any great plot development and even character development.
For those of you who want to watch this film, I suggest leaving behind your patience and to not consider the intolerable plot. Alternatively, go with a significant other (or not, it’s okay) to just enjoy the buoyant personalities of the two main protagonists. You’ll discover that any deadly duo can find a mutual love that works for them, so having dates right before a killing spree seems like a pretty optimal activity for a budding relationship.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars