Title: Playing It Cool
Released: 2014

Fix: Romantic Comedy, Raunchy Bros, Curmudgeonly Grandpa, Chris Evans
Platforms: Peacock, Starz, Roku, YouTube, Hoopla, VUDU, Tubi TV, DirecTV, Spectrum On Demand

Netflix Summary:

A cynical screenwriter forced to write a rom-com suddenly finds himself confronting cliches when he meets a beautiful but unavailable woman.

FYA Summary:

A super hot, bearded, and occasionally bespectacled, screenwriter, has to write about love, but has somehow never actually been in love. He doesn’t want to write a screenplay full of all the usual clichés of the genre, especially since he’s got a jaded view of relationships. His mom left him, in a particularly heartless way, when he was a child, and now he breaks the heart of every woman who ever claims to love him, while picturing his own heart as a separate person, an obnoxious smoking hipster in a suit and a fedora. Yeah, I’m not making that part up.

Then he has a seriously manic pixie meet cute with a woman who makes him look like an utter ass, so, he’s immediately into her. And of course, she has a boyfriend, and is maybe even more cynical about relationships than he is.

Familiar Faces:

Chris Evans as Me

He’s a terminal player, narrating his experiences in being terrible at relationships, and not understanding love. He’s kind of insufferable, but maybe charming enough to get away with it.

Michelle Monaghan as Her

She’s the female version of him, except in a committed relationship. I know he doesn’t get a name, but I’m way more bothered by the fact that she doesn’t have one.

Topher Grace as Scott

Neurotic gay bestie.

Aubrey Plaza as Mallory

The token Aubrey Plaza character, with some bonus scary performance art.

Martin Starr as Lyle

He lives in a van down by the river ocean.

Luke Wilson as Samson

The only married member of his circle of friends. Or, so we’re told.

Anthony Mackie as Bryan

Douchebag agent/perennial sidekick.

Couch-Sharing Capability: You Will Be Judged

This is mostly a rom-com from the dude’s point of view. Your typical dude might enjoy it. But everyone will likely agree this guy is the worst, but he’s still played by Chris Evans (aka, the best Chris). Chris Evans in all the situations, and moods, and all the different lighting, and clothes, and flirting. But it’s hard to watch him be this kind of terrible guy, since, you know, Captain America would never. And I know, it sounds like a believe he actually is Captain America. That’s only because I do. Oh, and hey! As you can see, there are also other attractive people in this movie.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Like Whoa

There is a reason you’ve never seen this movie. If you’re like me, watching people have uncomfortable conversations, and make really dumb decisions, nearly gives you the hives. Drinking helps alleviate that condition. I think Playing It Cool wants very badly to appeal to both men and women in the hackneyed ways that movies operate. I’m not entirely sure if it succeeds at either. But hey, you be the judge of that.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Obscure

Nobody saw this movie when it came out. If you tell me you did, I will not believe you. But there are three Chris Evans movies currently on Netflix, and this is one of them, if you’re looking to hit a Chris trifecta. I just want better things for you, Chris! This will also make for a good option when you need to make party small talk, if you ever get into a conversation about the myriad things actors have to do to pay the bills.


Kandis (she/her) is a proud member of the Austin FYA book club chapter who loves vampires, romance novels, live tweeting CW shows, and Jonah Griggs. She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom.