Catch and Release (film)

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Catch and Release
Catch and releaseposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySusannah Grant
Produced byCasey Grant
Josh Siegel
Matthew Tolmach
Jenno Topping
Written bySusannah Grant
StarringJennifer Garner
Timothy Olyphant
Kevin Smith
Sam Jaeger
Juliette Lewis
Music byBrian Transeau
Tommy Stinson
CinematographyJohn Lindley
Edited byAnne V. Coates
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • October 20, 2006 (2006-10-20) (Austin Film Festival)
  • January 26, 2007 (2007-01-26) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[2]
Box office$16 million[2]

Catch and Release is a 2006 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Susannah Grant in her feature directorial debut, and starring Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith, Sam Jaeger and Juliette Lewis. In the film, after a woman's fiancé dies, she seeks comfort in his friends, learning his secrets while falling for his best friend. Filming took place in 2005 in Vancouver and Boulder, Colorado. Catch and Release premiered at the Austin Film Festival in October 2006 and was released in the United States on January 26, 2007. The film was panned by critics and bombed at the box office, earning $16 million against a $25 million budget.


In Boulder, Gray Wheeler attends the funeral of her fiancé, Grady Douglas, on the day they were supposed to be married. Gray seeks solitude behind a shower curtain, where she unintentionally listens to Grady's best friend, Fritz, having sex with a caterer.

Eve, Grady's attorney, confirms for Gray that since they were not married, Gray will get nothing. The attorney reveals that Grady had an investment account with a million dollars in it, which Gray knew nothing about

Gray realizes that she can no longer afford to rent the house that they had picked out. With the help of Grady's other two close friends, Dennis and Sam, she puts her things into storage and moves in with them. Fritz, currently between directing commercials in California, also comes to stay, which causes tension between him and Gray.

Gray discovers that Grady transferred $3,000 every month to an unknown person. Gray later finds Grady's cell phone and listens to a string of messages from a woman asking about money. Gray asks Fritz for answers (as it is a Los Angeles number), and he reveals that Grady had a son, whose massage therapist mother depended on the money he sent. Fritz tells Gray that the boy is eight and that he was conceived before she met Grady.

Gray is further troubled when Mrs. Douglas asks her to return the family heirlooms engagement ring. She refuses and keeps the ring. The other woman, Maureen, and her son, Mattie, come looking for Grady. Gray learns that Mattie is actually 3 years old and realizes Grady was cheating on her. Gray confronts Fritz, but they end up in a passionate kiss.

Gray does not want anything to do with Maureen, but the guys are reluctant to send the son of the dead friend away so quickly, and they all get to know each other. Over dinner, trying to understand how Grady could secretly cheat on her, Gray blurts out that she equally withheld from him that "catch and release" fishermen are cruel and should just eat the fish.

Sam and Maureen, with similar scattered personalities, develop a connection, but Sam stops her when she initiates sex with him while Mattie is in the room. Gray and Fritz have become intimate. On a day trip to a river, Sam teaches Mattie to fly fish, while Dennis admits to Gray that he has feelings for her. Dennis is upset to learn that Gray and Fritz are an item, but Gray later tells him that her relationship with Fritz is "less than nothing", not realizing that Fritz can hear her. He believes she does not love him and returns to Malibu.

Mrs. Douglas insists that Mattie take a DNA test before letting him inherit Grady's money. The test shows that Mattie is someone else's child. Maureen has no idea how to find the man named Rafael that she had sex with a few days before having sex with Grady, and is unsure how she can support her child without Grady's money. Gray tells Mrs. Douglas that either she needs to give her family's money to this child that Grady had loved as his own, or Gray will sell the family engagement ring to help Grady's mistress support the innocent child.

The group gathers at the dedication ceremony for the peace garden that Dennis has built to memorialize Grady. Mrs. Douglas gives Maureen a cashier's check for $1 million. She then tells Gray to keep the ring, saying that all she wanted was her boy back. Dennis moves out of the house, and Maureen and Mattie move in with Sam, finding new support but still keeping the Douglas family money. Gray goes to Malibu and finds Fritz playing with his dog on the beach—they embrace and kiss.



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.

Kevin Smith said while filming this movie, he and Lewis went to the set of the Uwe Boll film In the Name of the King because Smith had heard they had Krispy Kreme doughnuts, which were flown in by Burt Reynolds, who was appearing in that film. They took boxes of doughnuts back to the Catch and Release set, and someone on set asked if they had stolen the doughnuts from the set of In the Name.., because Reynolds saw someone running away with them.[3]


The original film score is produced by Brian Wayne Transeau (BT) and Tommy Stinson.

Songs used in the official trailer for the film included "Just a Ride" by Jem and "Breathe (2 AM)" by Anna Nalick.

Music featured in Catch and Release is performed by:

  1. Foo Fighters – "Razor"
  2. The Lemonheads – "My Drug Buddy"
  3. Blinker the Star – "A Nest for Two"
  4. The Magic Numbers – "Mornings Eleven"
  5. Gary Jules – "Pills"
  6. Steve Durand – "Electrified and Ripe"
  7. New Radiant Storm King – "The Winding Staircase"
  8. Audible – "Sky Signal"
  9. Peter Maclaggan – "Leaving the Ground"
  10. Joshua Radin – "What if You"
  11. Gomez – "These 3 Sins"
  12. Alaska! – "Resistance"
  13. Paul Westerberg – "Let the Bad Times Roll"
  14. The Swallows – "Turning Blue"
  15. Andrew Rodriguez – "What I Done"
  16. Death Cab for Cutie – "Soul Meets Body"
  17. Doves – "There Goes the Fear"


Box office[edit]

Box Office Mojo predicted Catch and Release would earn $4.6 million during its opening weekend from 1,622 sites, with estimating $5 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 in other territories, making it a bomb at the box office.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Critical reaction towards the film has been largely negative. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 21% based on 132 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5/10. The website's consensus reads, "A romantic dramedy with boring, stock characters and contrived situations."[4] Metacritic gave a score of 43 out of 100 based on 28 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[5] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B.[6]

The film received "Two Thumbs Up" from Richard Roeper and guest critic Govindini Murty on At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper. Even with most of the reviews being negative, a number of critics praised the performance given by Smith.[7]


  1. ^ "Catch and Release (2007)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Catch and Release (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 9, 2007.
  3. ^ "Hollywood Babble-On #130". Hollywood Improv. June 30, 2013. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014.
  4. ^ "Catch and Release (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  5. ^ "Catch and Release". Metacritic. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Gimme an Oscar, dammit!". January 26, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2015.

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