Catch and Release (film)
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|Catch and Release|
|Directed by||Susannah Grant|
|Produced by||Casey Grant
|Written by||Susannah Grant|
with Fiona Shaw
and Juliette Lewis
|Music by||Brian Transeau
|Editing by||Anne V. Coates|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||112 minutes|
Catch and Release is a 2006 romantic comedy film released by Columbia Pictures. It is the directorial debut of Susannah Grant, who wrote the film Erin Brockovich. It stars Jennifer Garner as a woman mourning her fiancé's death who finds a more than welcoming shoulder to cry on in her dead fiance's best friend. Timothy Olyphant and filmmaker Kevin Smith co-star.
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The film opens with Gray (Jennifer Garner) at the funeral of her fiancé, Grady. They were supposed to be married that day. Gray is very upset and eventually seeks solace by hiding in the bathtub. Meanwhile, one of Grady's friends, Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), has seduced one of the catering staff and takes her into the bathroom, not realizing that Gray is there. Gray is forced to listen to them have sex. Once the caterer leaves, she pulls back the shower curtain, startling Fritz.
Gray visits the attorney to determine what will happen to Grady's estate. Grady did not have a will and since she and Grady were not married, she will not inherit his money. The attorney reveals that Grady had an investment account with a million dollars in it, which Gray knew nothing about. She determines that she can no longer afford to rent the house that they had picked out and she was already living in. With help from Grady's friends Dennis (Sam Jaeger) and Sam (Kevin Smith), she puts her things into storage and moves in with them into Grady's old room. Fritz, who lives in L.A., is also staying in the house during his visit.
Tensions continue between Gray and Fritz. As Gray investigates Grady's investment account she discoverers that he transferred $3,000 every month to some unknown person.
During the night, a cell phone rings. Gray wakes up Fritz, thinking the phone is his. He says that it's not his and turns it off. At the same time, they realize that the phone must have belonged to Grady. Gray grabs the phone first and turns it on to find ten voicemail messages. She listens to a string of messages from a woman asking about money, who goes from cautiously concerned to increasingly angry as each message progresses. Gray appears frustrated and upset at what she hears.
When Gray notes the phone number area code is for L.A.. She goes to Fritz for answers, and he reveals that Grady had a son with a woman he met in L.A. and that she depends on the money she received from him to support herself and their son. Fritz tells her that the boy is eight and that the encounter happened before she and Grady were involved.
Meanwhile, Gray is further upset when Grady's mother asks for the engagement ring back. Gray refuses and keeps the ring.
Eventually, the other woman, Maureen (Juliette Lewis), and her son turn up, trying to get answers about Grady and the money. When Gray encounters them, she realizes that the boy is about 4 years old, not 8, so the affair happened while she and Grady were together. Gray confronts Fritz about the revelation. She slaps him and he pins her arms against the wall. They kiss, but part and leave without a word. Gray comes to a greater understanding, with this silence, of why Fritz lied and how hiding all this has affected him as well.
Gray doesn't want anything to do with Maureen, but the guys are reluctant to send her away. They all spend time together and get to know each other. Sam and Maureen begin to develop a connection.
Dennis reveals that he has feelings for Gray. Gray lets him down easily, but he becomes upset when he finds that Gray and Fritz are an item. Gray tells Dennis that her relationship with Fritz is "less than nothing", not realizing that Fritz is standing by the doorway and can hear her speaking. Fritz determines that Gray doesn't return his feelings for her and he returns to Malibu.
Grady's mother insists that the boy have a DNA test before inheriting Grady's money, as he stands to do under Colorado law. The results determine that Grady was not the father. Maureen is devastated, unsure how she will support her child without Grady's money. Gray goes to Grady's mother and tells her that she thinks that Grady must have known that the child wasn't his, but that his money could make a difference in the boy's life. She offers Grady's mother the engagement ring in exchange for her giving Grady's money to Maureen.
The group gathers at the dedication ceremony for the peace garden that Dennis has built to memorialize Grady. Grady's mother gives Maureen a certified check. When Gray finds out, she offers the ring back, but Grady's mother tells her to keep it. She says that she never cared about the ring or the money, she just wanted her son back.
Dennis decides it's time for him to be on his own, so he moves out of the house. Maureen and her son move in with Sam. In a voiceover for the memorial, Gray determines that she never fully knew Grady, and while mourning him, has come to have feelings for the one person that they both could be themselves around: Fritz.
Gray goes to Malibu to Fritz's home and finds him outside on the beach playing fetch with his dog. She throws a ball and the dog runs after it, and Fritz turns around to see her. She walks to him and says she should have called then starts rambling. He quiets her by kissing her and says, "What took you so long?" The film ends with Fritz's photographs rolling through the credits.
- Jennifer Garner as Gray Wheeler
- Timothy Olyphant as Fritz Messing
- Sam Jaeger as Dennis
- Kevin Smith as Sam
- Juliette Lewis as Maureen
- Joshua Friesen as Mattie
- Fiona Shaw as Mrs. Douglas
- Tina Lifford as Eve
- Georgia Craig as Persephone
Catch and Release was filmed in the spring/summer of 2005, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with a reprise in December 2005. In July 2005, several scenes were filmed in Boulder, Colorado, where the story takes place.
Music featured in Catch and Release is performed by:
- Foo Fighters - Razor
- The Lemonheads - My Drug Buddy
- Blinker the Star - A Nest for Two
- The Magic Numbers - Mornings Eleven
- Gary Jules - Pills
- Steve Durand - Electrified and Ripe
- New Radiant Storm King - The Winding Staircase
- Audible - Sky Signal
- Peter Maclaggan - Leaving the Ground
- Joshua Radin - What if You
- Gomez - These 3 Sins
- Alaska! - Resistance
- Paul Westerberg - Let the Bad Times Roll
- The Swallows - Turning Blue
- Andrew Rodriguez - What I Done
- Death Cab for Cutie - Soul Meets Body
- Doves - There Goes the Fear
Box Office Mojo pegged Catch and Release for a $4.6 million opening weekend at its 1,622 sites, with Leesmovieinfo.com estimating $5.0 million. The film edged above these expectations and grossed $7,658,898 in its first three days — with Sony indicating that 75% of the audience was female (with 58% being over 25). The pattern of films that rely heavily on its leading ladies having a dominantly female audience can also be seen in pictures like In Her Shoes, Just Like Heaven and Because I Said So, other medium sized box office successes.
The film ended up with a final gross of $15,539,051 in the United States and $456,458 overseas, less than its estimated $25 million budget.
Critical reaction towards the film has been largely negative. The Rotten Tomatoes ratings was at 21%. On Metacritic the film had a slightly better 43, indicated as "Mixed or Average Reviews." The film did receive "Two Thumbs Up" from Richard Roeper and guest critic Govindini Murty. Even with most of the reviews being negative, a number of critics praised the performance given by Kevin Smith.