Playing It Cool

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Playing It Cool
Playing It Cool Movie Poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byJustin Reardon
Written by
  • Chris Shafer
  • Paul Vicknair
Produced by
CinematographyJeff Cutter
Edited byCatherine Haight
Music byJake Monaco
Distributed byVertical Entertainment
Release dates
  • September 26, 2014 (2014-09-26) (Estonia)
  • May 14, 2015 (2015-05-14) (United States)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.3 million[1]

Playing It Cool is a 2014 American romantic comedy film directed by Justin Reardon and written by Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair. The film stars Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Anthony Mackie, Aubrey Plaza, Patrick Warburton, Ioan Gruffudd, and Topher Grace. The film was released on video on demand on March 31, 2015 before a limited release on May 8, 2015 by Vertical Entertainment.[2] It received generally negative reviews from critics.


Me (Chris Evans) is a screenwriter in LA who wants to write action flicks, but his agent, Bryan (Anthony Mackie), needs him to write a romcom first. Due to mother abandonment issues from his childhood, he doesn't let love in or believe in it, so finds writing about romance difficult. Having writer’s block, he talks to people, hearing their anectdotes. Then he places himself in those stories in his mind.

His buddy Scott (Topher Grace) is obsessed with romantic books and movies. He’s had a crush for ages on a regular client at the bookshop. He is tortured, hoping the feelings could be reciprocated. ‘He’ wants to show love as it is in his perspective, not funny nor romantic. Every time anyone has told him they love him, he says he doesn’t think he’d be able to reciprocate. So, he constantly hooks up and then says he doesn’t see a future with them

Then he meets Her (Michelle Monaghan) at a charity event with Scott, bantering together with ease. Doing a social experiment at the event (her idea), they each use cliché bad lines of the opposite sex, flirting badly with the other attendees to put them off. He finds himself really drawn to her, but suddenly they meet her boyfriend ‘Stuffy’ (Ione Gruffudd), and she gets whisked away. When he tries to get her out of his head by hooking up quickly with anyone else, for the first time it doesn’t work. He goes back to the venue to see if he can get her name, but there is no one left to ask. Desperate, he grabs the guest book to try and find her name.

His misfit group of friends are all writers: Lyle (Martin Starr) prolific yet still unpublished, Samson (Luke Wilson) a married graphic novelist, Mallory (Aubrey Plaza) writes and performs one woman shows she makes them attend and of course Scott. Meeting up at the shooting range, he tells them he is trying to find Her. Most are cynical about marriage and love, so Scott is the supportive one.

Everywhere he goes now he sees other seemingly misfits, paired off. When he goes to see his granddad (Philip Baker Hall), he tells him he must ‘Columbo’ it (research Her like a p.i.) The plan becomes, going the rounds of charity events, hopefully to run into her. He coincides with Dick (Patrick Warburton) at a Save the Oceans benefit, who then forces him to get up and speak (as on a former occasion, he made up several charities he was involved in). She actually is there, so they reconnect, and he gets her to agree to a ‘friend date’. Afterwards, when he gives her a lift home, she mentions a charity event on Thursday.

At bowling the next day, his friends are unsupportive. Mallory is hostile, only Scott is rooting for love. When he shows up, she instead invited him to her yoga class. Afterwards, they are chatting in a café, and he asks her about ‘Stuffy.’ She describes him as stable, safe and liked by her family and friends. Her dream wedding is at one of the heart sculptures in San Francisco. And he finally confesses that he ‘likes’ her, which she says won’t change her plan.

At home, he takes out his shoebox, looking at the goodbye postit note his mother had left him. At handball the next day his granddad and Scott convince him not to give up on Her. That evening, he convinces her to go out, she talks about her dad’s suicide when she was young, and they kiss.

She calls him up because she can’t get him out of her head, and before long, they end up in bed together. For the first time, he doesn’t feel guilty, and he can eat the cereal he couldn’t for years. She, on the other hand, leaves feeling badly. She calls again, everything is going well, until his dishonesty about the charities surfaces and she stomps away. Mallory finally confesses she loves him when he asks her for help. The next morning, She wakes him with a call, only to confess she is already engaged.

A night of binging, followed by making a fool of himself at her apartment and his granddad dying, gets him back on track. His writer's block melts away and the rom-com gets done. Scott finally gets a date with that guy, Mallory gives the ‘friend’ a chance. He realizes he has to try to stop the wedding. A flight, cliché run through an airport and a taxi ride, checking all of the heart sculptures later, he finds Her

The ending message: Love isn’t a thinking thing, it’s a feeling thing. Live your own story.




The script for the film was originally titled A Many Splintered Thing and was first on The Black List and was a 2011 finalist for the Nicholl Fellowship.[3]


The film began filming in late 2012 in Los Angeles and completed in early 2013. The film is produced by Voltage Pictures and Wonderland Sound and Vision.


The film was released in Estonia on September 26, 2014, Latvia on October 17, 2014, South Korea on October 23, 2014 and Romania on December 26, 2014.[6] The film was released in Sweden on February 26, 2015 on DVD and Blu-Ray. The film was also released in Bulgaria on March 6, 2015 and in Singapore on May 7, 2015. The film was scheduled to be released in Chile on May 28, 2015 and Brazil on June 11, 2015.[7] on November 5, 2014 it was announced Vertical Entertainment had acquired US distribution rights for the film with a planned 2015 release.[8] in February 2015, the film was released exclusively on DirecTV Cinema.[9] The film was released on video on demand on March 31, 2015 before a limited release on May 8, 2015.[10] The film premiered at the Dallas International Film Festival on April 11, 2015.[11] The film was released in a limited release and on video on demand in Canada on February 27, 2015.[12]


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 14% based on 28 reviews, with an average rating of 4.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Playing It Cool pits Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan's easy chemistry against a screenplay that tries too hard to be quirky and clever, and the results are disappointingly lukewarm."[13] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 30 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[14]


The international trailer was released on September 17, 2014.[15]

Home media[edit]

The film was released in Sweden on February 26, 2015 on DVD and Blu-Ray,[7] and was scheduled to be released in the United States on June 16, 2015 on DVD.[16] The film was released on DVD in Canada on May 5, 2015.[12]


  1. ^ "Playing It Cool".
  2. ^[user-generated source]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Ryan Gajewski (13 September 2014). "Chris Evans Has Complicated Feelings for Michelle Monaghan in 'Playing It Cool' Trailer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  4. ^ H. Shaw-Williams (September 2014). "'Playing it Cool' Trailer: Chris Evans & Anthony Mackie Reunite". Screen Rant. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  5. ^ Kevin Jagernauth (12 September 2014). "First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More". Indie Wire. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "Playing It Cool (2014) - IMDb". IMDb.
  8. ^ "Chris Evans' 'Playing It Cool' Acquired by Vertical Entertainment". 5 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Watch Playing It Cool Full Movie Online".
  10. ^ "Flieder on Film: Playing It Cool". Archived from the original on 2015-05-28.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-28. Retrieved 2015-05-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ a b "Playing it Cool synopsis and movie info".
  13. ^ "Playing It Cool (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  14. ^ "Playing It Cool Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  15. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Playing it Cool International Trailer (2014) - Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan HD. YouTube.
  16. ^ "Playing it Cool". Amazon. 16 June 2015.

External links[edit]