A Guy Thing (2003) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for language, crude humor, sexual content, and drug references
Running Time: 101 min.
Cast: Jason Lee, Julia Stiles, Selma Blair, James Brolin, Shawn Hatosy, Diana Scarwid, Lochlyn Munro
Director: Chris Koch
Screenplay: Greg Glienna, Pete Schwaba, Matt Tarses, Bill Wrubel
Review published January 18, 2003
As an episode of a screwball sitcom, such as Three's Company, perhaps the main plot of A GUY THING might have proven acceptable fare. As a major motion picture release, a story this redundant and jokes this poor border on inexcusable. This is especially true when you have a cast that excels at making just this kind of film, and even if they have all made some weak choices in their careers, to say their talents were underutilized is a definite understatement.
Jason Lee looks tired in this one, and why not sleepwalk through the film when you have a script that gives you so little to do? Not that a more lively performance could have saved this film, but it's interesting to see that actors can be just as bored making the same old films again and again as we are in watching them.
Here's the ridiculous plot: Paul (Lee) is having his bachelor party, has a little too much to drink, and wakes up at home next to one of the Tiki dancers (Stiles) from the gig. With fiancée Becky (Blair) on the way over, Paul quickly ushers Tiki dancer Karen out of the door, only to be racked with guilt over his apparent indiscretion. Things get a little more dicey when Karen turns out to be Becky's cousin, and trying to keep a lid on things proves difficult with her being around for the wedding rehearsals, especially when her jealous ex-boyfriend cop wants a piece of him.
At first glance, A GUY THING would seem like a dumb title for a movie, but with a story this generic, I suppose almost any title would do. Every major problem stems from the script, employing four screenwriters yet still can't squeeze out a decent laugh. In addition to the lack of humor, the romance is flimsy, the situations heavily forced, the motivations nonsensical, and there's a recurring crudeness that is misguided. Getting any entertainment from screenwriting this intellectually anemic is like trying to squeeze juice out of a bag of rocks. Futile.
You'd really have to be starved for a romantic comedy to have to settle for such a trite misfire. Ironically, for a film which thematically exalts taking risks and actions through fear, A GUY THING is as conventional and safe as they come.
©2001 Vince Leo