Everyone goes just a little bit crazy when they fall in love. Charlie, however, goes clinically, certifiably insane. Outwardly he’s a middle school principal who looks like he’s got it together, but he’s ruined literally all of his relationships because of his insanity. The only trouble is, until now, he hasn’t known it. Undiagnosed, his nutty downward spiral always seems perfectly logical to him. He make huge mental leaps in order to convince himself that his girlfriend is cheating on him. This time he’s aware that he’s crazy, but that’s not the difference-maker you’d think.
And the more perfect Molly (Ali Larter) seems, the more obvious Charlie’s (Matt LeBlanc) psychosis becomes. Choosing to keep Molly in the dark, he struggles to explain away all his deranged behaviour. My sister recently told me she hates movies where everything goes wrong, and I suppose I’m feeling exactly that during Lovesick. His best friend is less a character in the movie and more of a narrative device. The screenwriter seems to think if he uses him to constantly point out that yeah, his friends and family should maybe have intervened, we’ll forgive them for not doing so. But there’s no way Charlie’s behaviour would go unchecked for so long and through such serious ups and downs in real life. He does stuff he should get fired for, maybe even go to prison for, but the movie treats them like cute foibles on the road to love.
Matt LeBlanc is not a terrific actor. Previous to this, he hadn’t had a film role in 11 years (since Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle), or a starring one since 2001. With his Friends money he doesn’t have to ever act again, and it’s unimaginable that this was the material that drew him back (it’s much easier to imagine that he simply doesn’t get asked a lot). Ali Larter is not a terrific actor either. They’re not pulling this off. And we’ll never know how Chevy Chase get embroiled in this, but there he is, breaking, entering, and watching porn. You may be scrolling through Netflix looking for a Valentine’s treat, but by god, this isn’t it.