While the ever growing water level within the romantic comedy genre continues to grow, some are wasted efforts and others are decent, and others are promising efforts which do not seem to hold much value in the short or long term. Sadly, The Right Kind of Wrong would appear to fall into this category, despite some of the relatively familiar faces in it.
Based on the novel "Sex & Sunsets" by Tim Sandlin, Megan Martin adapted a screenplay which Jeremiah Chechik (Benny and Joon) directed. Leo (Ryan Kwanten, True Blood) is married to Julie (Kristen Hager, Wanted) and Leo has been in a bit of a malaise after a book he wrote failed to sell. Complicating things is that Jill wrote a blog detailing this malaise and how it affected their marriage and it is hugely popular. As their marriage dissolves, Leo falls head over heels for Colette (Sara Canning, The Vampire Diaries), which seems like a nice thing except the two meet on Colette's wedding day. So Leo tries to win Colette despite her marriage to Danny (Ryan McPartlin, J. Edgar), and maybe undergoes some sort of personal metamorphosis in the process.
It should be noted, to both the credit of Kwanten and to The Right Kind of Wrong , the film could have taken the easy way out. It could have relied on the good looks of its male lead and charmed the pants off of everyone, male or female, en route to claiming the heart of the female lead for the ‘Happily Ever After' ending that people so clamor for when it comes to television personalities in cinematic romantic comedies. But Kwanten manages to exhibit a bit of range, wisely deciding to limit the time of supporting actor Will Sasso (Division III) as the friend the lead bounces things off of in moments when it is needed, not gratuitously. As Leo, Kwanten spends more time trading lines with an under-10 brother and sister combination, further emphasizing the choice of Kwanten to carry the film more.
And at least for the first act or so it actually works, as Leo is convincing as the guy we see in a funk who works his way out of it. That Kwanten makes the effort to do a lot of what is required of him without being the type of person that would throw his street cred from his television work around is better than past protagonists have done and is almost something that a Dudley Moore or John Ritter would do in a Blake Edwards film. Rather than "looking pretty," he lets you know there is more behind it and I respect that.
However, the effort alone does not outweigh the limitations of the story, which simply goes through the motions and takes its hook and does little with it to make it memorable. I had not remembered much about McPartlin since the days of the show Chuck and he was fine as his role of being the closest to an antagonist the film was going to have save for Jill. Canning was fine though also not very distinguishing as Colette, and not entirely worthy of the importance as the romantic lead against Kwanten. When you boil down to it, the fact that there is very little that is noteworthy about the rest of The Right Kind of Wrong says a lot about it, if you got slightly philosophical.
In fact, the best thing I could perhaps say about The Right Kind of Wrong may be that I would like to see more of what Ryan Kwanten may do to separate himself from his noteworthy character, because there is some potential there. However, to surround him with an ensemble that does little of mention is either an indictment of them or more worryingly, a statement on what Kwanten may or may not be capable of. Come on Jason Stackhouse, show me something, I want to believe.
The Right Kind of Wrong appears in 2.40:1 widescreen and uses the AVC codec for this high-definition transfer, with no real qualm over the picture as it looks great. Image detail is abundant through the film, whether it is in closer shots of Kwanten's face or in the larger exteriors of the Alberta outdoors the film dismays on many occasions. Colors are replicated well along with flesh tones, and the detail in the backgrounds is discernible. Magnolia and the AXS television folks know how to present something in high definition and the film looks nice.
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless for this dialogue-driven film, with the results being not bad. Dialogue is balanced and consistent in the front of the theater and does not need much user compensation, the subwoofer is engaged in a sequence with a hang glider, and there is even a moment or two of directional effects the film replicates well. It lacks a level of immersion that a more involved film may have, but considering the nature of the material there is little to complain about here.
The extras are similar to other releases by Magnolia, starting with three deleted scenes (6:02). We see the beginning of the romance between Leo and his wife before the disintegration, but otherwise the scenes are forgettable. Next is a Behind the Scenes look at the film (7:57) which looks at the stories, characters and cast, you know, the usual stuff. "The Music" (6:14) looks at the scoring sessions and intent from both director and composer perspectives, and shows off a couple of scenes that highlight the music. "The Right Kind of Wrong Rap" (:53) looks at the two kids in the film as they freestyle, while AXS TV has a shorter version of the behind the scenes piece (2:58) that uses some of the same film. The trailer (2:20) completes things.
The Right Kind of Wrong is fun for nothing else because a good looking guy does not rely on his looks for the film and is willing to try a little bit out of his comfort area. What holds the film back is that the people he works with and/or against do the opposite of that, and the result is a film that just rather sits there like a jello mold. Technically, it is more than agreeable and even the scant bonus materials are fine. If you are looking for a slight change of pace this is for you, with the emphasis on slight.