The Right Kind of Wrong

A scene from the movie "The Right Kind of Wrong." (Sabrina Lantos / August 23, 2012)

As disarmingly bracing at times as the stunning Alberta mountains behind its love-frazzled characters, the romantic comedy "The Right Kind of Wrong" works often in spite of its willful eccentricities.

Failed novelist turned dishwasher Leo (Ryan Kwanten) is an unwitting poster boy for marital disappointment thanks to his ex-wife's popular blog and book, "Why You Suck." In rebounding, Leo decides feisty tour guide Colette (Sara Canning) is the woman of his dreams, despite the fact that he meets her on her wedding day.

What follows is what you'd expect: a hapless dreamer's grand gestures, flabbergasted hand-wringing by the newlywed — whose bohemian mother (Catherine O'Hara) approves of Leo — and an increasingly vengeful attitude from Colette's rich, square-jawed lawyer husband (Ryan McPartlin).

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What saves it all are the winning performances (especially from the immensely likable Kwanten), director Jeremiah Chechik's agreeable gloss and pacing, and a wise, bemused script by Megan Martin, who in adapting a novel by Tim Sandlin filled the film with sharp observations about social media-disrupted lives, unnerving attraction and the perils of feeling safe in a relationship.

When the movie isn't forcing its cuteness or R-rated humor, there's a frisson of genuine screwball to "The Right Kind of Wrong."

"The Right Kind of Wrong." MPAA rating: R for sexual content, nudity and language. Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes. At Laemmle's Monica 4 in Santa Monica.