Freddie Prinze, Jr. tries yet again to find a foothold on his crumbling career ladder in Boys and Girls, a movie that will do nothing for his career but has some good moments worth watching.
Despite what the movie sounds like, this film isn't a sex-laden, gross-out comedy about the opposite sexes experimenting with each other. The story is about a boy and a girl who through destiny or whatever keep on meeting each other (first on a plane as kids, then at a high school football game, and then again in college) and become the best of friends, and then fall in love with each other.
Yes, this movie is a chick flick. There are some sappy moments here and there and a lot of cushy boy-girl stuff, but not enough to discourage guys from watching. In fact, I am sad to report that I saw this movie with one of my guy friends, thinking it was more of a gross-out comedy than a sappy romance comedy. In fact, it is neither. Up until the end, there really isn't that much romance. There is a lot of friendly relationship things, but not where Prinze, Jr. and Forlani are hugging all the time.
The characters are about as basic as they get. There's Ryan, played by Freddie Prinze, Jr., who's the average geek, Jennifer, played by the beautiful Claire Forlani, who's sort of the every woman's slut, and Hunter, played by Jason Biggs, the sexless guy who wants some (very similar to his character in American Pie, only even more hopeless). The acting is about as bad as it can get. Prinze will never break out of the teeny-bopper movies because he doesn't have what it takes to carry more powerful films. As for Claire Forlani, she can definitely recover, especially since her performance is a little better than the rest. Jason Biggs seems a little forceful but at the same time so is his character; I can only guess that his character was not in the script from the start. His character serves up nothing but cheap laughs the whole through... It is as if the producers read the script, said, "This sounds like a romance comedy without the comedy," and so they shoved Hunter in there. I did like the progression of the two main characters, though, especially Prinze's. He starts out as a really strange geek and slowly changes into a normal college guy. As for Forlani, she is a little more static, but I liked the fact that the producers made her sex happy for the sake of the guy audience. I don't know if anyone else noticed but she looked incredibly sexy when they went to that nightclub and she was wearing that tight, backless white dress. My shallowness is about the same as the movie's.
The writing is little to be desired for. There are enough funny moments to keep the movie rolling, but the dialogue is too normal. There is a lot of sarcastic humor exchanged between the two main characters that just doesn't hit the audience in the funny bones. I am a very sarcastic guy and this movie seems really similar to the kind of movie that I would write, but I also know that must would not understand the sarcasm. Basically, the dialogue is just too ordinary.
For the females, will the movie satisfy your romantic urges? Probably not. Compared to all the good romance comedies, Boys and Girls really isn't anything more than a rehash of several other stories. At the end of course, as the two characters are moving in separate directions for good, Forlani realizes that she does love Prinze and rushes back to get him back, and of course she has to get there before the plane leaves. Did I give anything away? No, of course not. That is the same ending that just about any other romance comedy has.
After hearing some reviews from other critics, I was expecting a really bad movie. When I began to laugh I felt a little nervous, wondering if I should be laughing. I thought maybe I was the only one understanding the jokes, or maybe I just have a really lame sense of humor. Either way, I was pleasantly surprised by Boys and Girls. It neither has the acting nor the script for a successful, mainstream comedy, but it has enough little subtleties to be worth a watch.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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