There's a pretty standard formula for almost any romantic comedy these days - girl wants to find a guy, girl and guy meet cute, problems get in the way, problems are discovered, relationship ends, problems resolved, they live happily ever after. So when anything interesting is thrown in to make that formula just the tiniest bit different, we tend to look at it for a moment longer. And, This Means War, while stupid and implausible, does a good job of attempting to add some new ingredients to the standard recipe.
Foster (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) work for the CIA. They're partners and have been assigned to find a bad guy. The movie starts out like it might be more like Mission: Impossible, but the humor is a bit increased. Then we meet Lauren (Reece Witherspoon) who is a product testing expert and tells her best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler) what kind of detergent to buy while complaining that she moved to this city to follow a guy who has since dumped her. Now Lauren is looking for a new guy, and thanks to Trish has a date with a guy she met online. Foster is a bit of a ladies man, but Tuck hasn't been out on a date since his wife left him (she thinks he's a travel agent) and so Tuck has met someone online. On the way home from her excellent date with Tuck, Lauren meets Foster. So far we haven't deviated even a little bit from the standard formula of rom-coms. Thankfully, we get some fun from this point on.
Foster and Tuck eventually realize they're dating the same girl, but they agree to let her decide - she doesn't know they even know each other. However, as they're bad-ass CIA guys they use all kinds of technology to spy on Lauren, particularly to watch the other on the date of the night. Yes, this is creepy. As a single woman I promise this is very creepy. But it's still really funny to watch them try to be the best boyfriend after listening to her conversations. Also, the general homoerotic love affair between Foster and Tuck is riding the line of love and friendship, but it too is really funny. Overall, the movie sparks just enough raunch, humor and originality to make it worthwhile. Witherspoon is not quite annoying, but Chelsea Handler is awesome as her best friend living vicariously by convincing Reece to date two guys at once. Surprisingly funny and original. Reminded me a lot of Knight and Day, which I admit to really liking. Feel free to judge me.