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Mellow 'Release' isn't a must-catch

The Baltimore Sun

Catch and Release is the term for catching a fish and throwing it back. In her directorial debut, Erin Brockovich screenwriter Susannah Grant uses it as a metaphor for the way her romantic heroine (Jennifer Garner) and a small circle of friends face their feelings and let go of the dead-end ones.

But the movie is less about catch and release than about giving in to confusion, moaning and collapse, with brief interludes of idyllic play and even briefer ecstasy. It's not a comedy-drama, really. It's let's-all-share therapy in beautiful Boulder, Colo. When the characters stop slinking around and dare to "show and tell" each other about their love lives, the truth sets them free to roam through greener pastures. En route to their homey epiphanies, these lucky souls swim, skate and amble with leisure in lovely spots - not just Boulder, but also California's Malibu beach.

Catch and Release (Sony) Starring Jennifer Garner (at right), Timothy Olyphant, Sam Jaeger, Kevin Smith, Juliette Lewis. Directed by Susannah Grant. Rated PG-13. Time 115 minutes.

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