Sporadically clever, vulgar romantic comedyin the “There’s Something About Mary” mold, first-time writer-director Dustin Guy’s “The Mallory Effect” runs out of comic steam long before it crosses its not-too-distant finish line, even if it isn’t appreciably worse than dozens of similarly imitative Hollywood pics. Montreal-lensed, with a largely Utah-based cast and crew, Slamdance preem was jammed with rowdy locals, though pic doesn’t look to travel far beyond the Great Salt Lake.
When Charlie (Steven Roy) gets dumped by g.f. Mallory (“Sports Illustrated” swimsuit model Josie Maran), he’s heartbroken. When he discovers his ex is dating another guy, his thoughts turn to vengeance, and pic sets about a familiar regimen of conspiring-to-win-the-girl-back antics. Save for a sprinkling of guffaws, it’s a mostly slack affair, burdened with a protagonist who becomes less and less likable as things progress, his lovelorn manipulations turning cruel (and borderline misogynist) and leaving us indifferent as to whether he ever gets the girl — and abandoning the pic in a rut of one-dimensional locker-room humor.