Antonio Banderas and Meg Ryan in My Spy (2008) (aka: My Mom's New Boyfriend)

To Catch My Mom's Boyfriend

When FBI Agent Henry Durand (Colin Hanks) went on assignment he was gone for three years, having left his mum Marty (Meg Ryan) an over weight, fast food loving wreck. When he returned everything had changed, his mum installed a pool, lost weight, had a boob job and got a love life and much to Henry's horror is dating all sorts of people from chef's to college kids with motorbikes. But for Henry there is worse to come when Marty starts dating Tommy (Antonio Banderas) as he just happens to be on the FBI list of those involved in an international art theft ring. Now Henry has to spy on his mum and her lover which could put anyone in to therapy.

I am so grateful of one thing when it comes to "My Spy" or "My Mom's New Boyfriend" as it is also known; that thing is that they cast Colin Hanks in the role of Meg Ryan's son rather than a lover as that would have just been really weird. In fact with Colin having inherited some of his father's gift for comedy it actually adds something to the movie and in a really strange way feels like someone has messed about with time as during several scenes it feels like we are watching a young Tom Hanks but with his old romantic sparring partner Meg Ryan as she is now, or at least how she was in 2008.

Colin Hanks and Selma Blair in My Spy (2008) (aka: My Mom's New Boyfriend)

Anyway the humour of Tom Hanks' son Colin and Meg Ryan together is not actually what "My Spy" is about but instead the comedy of a young FBI agent not only having to deal with his mum becoming hot and having a love life but also having to spy on her and her latest boyfriend, listening in to what they say on dates and in the bedroom. In a way this is where "My Spy" is let down as after a while watching Henry being frustrated at his mum's activities becomes repetitive and you need something more to make it work and sadly it doesn't manage to come up with anything other than what is obvious. The trouble with this comes from "My Spy" not seeming to know who its audience is as instead of delivering humour for grown ups it prefers to dumb things down with simple gags.

But "My Spy" has another issue and unfortunately that is Meg Ryan as whilst looking hot and frequently reminding me of Dyan Cannon is in over the top mode and is so full on from start to finish that it is an assault on your senses. At the same time Antonio Banderas having been cast to play the charming, comical thief, which is right in his comfort zone, turns up the dial on the charm to compete with Meg Ryan which makes it over the top. Fortunately the saving grace is Colin Hanks who as I mentioned has inherited some of his father's gift for comedy and some of his style as well which is at times felt like being taken back a quarter of a century.

What this all boils down to is that "My Spy" is an amusing idea and is certainly well cast with the amusing set up of Meg Ryan playing Colin Hanks' mum. But sadly repetitive gags and too much over acting ends up spoiling this and dumbing it down far too much.