A Guy Thing (12)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner06/09/2003

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 101 mins

Predictable, lame, occasionally embarrassing comedy that remains just about watchable thanks to the chemistry of its two leads. Not very funny though.

The secret of a good romantic comedy is an elusive one. At least, it certainly seems to elude many of the sub-standard “romcoms” that Hollywood churns out on a regular basis and sadly, A Guy Thing is no exception.

Jason Lee and Julia Stiles provide it with the chemistry element that many other romcoms lack, but in this case, the script just isn’t there to back them up.

Predictable Stag Do Hi-Jinks

Jason Lee stars as Paul, a happy-go-lucky, decent sort of chap, engaged to Karen (Selma Blair). In fact, he’s so decent that on his stag night, he allows his best friend to be mistaken for the groom so that he doesn’t end up doing something he’ll regret later.

Except it doesn’t quite work and he wakes up next to a naked Becky The Dancer (Julia Stiles) the next morning anyway. And then his mother-in-law phones and tells him his fiancée is on her way over. Laughing yet? Didn’t think so.

The “laughs” continue when Becky is revealed to be Blair’s cousin. (Leaving aside the fact that it’s a little odd that they’d never met before, considering the engagement).

They are further compounded when Paul realises he’s caught a dose of crabs. (That’s right. Crabs. That’s how funny this movie is. Oh yes.) And they just keep on coming until Paul finally realises what the audience has known since they first saw Julia Stiles shimmy onstage in her hawaiian skirt ensemble.

Weak Script Equals Bad Film

The main problem is with the script – the laughs just aren’t there. Also, it’s hard to sympathise with Paul’s problem, no matter how drunk he was. Worse, the script later tries to convince us that “nothing happened” but that hardly explains Becky’s underwear ending up in a different room to the one she slept in…

Lee and Stiles make an appealing couple and there’s good support from Blair, as well as Julie (Airplane) Hegarty and the always-reliable Larry Miller as the priest and neighbour.

Admittedly there are a couple of good jokes, plus a bizarrely off-the-wall moment where the soundtrack uses an elephant’s trumpeting noise to accompany Lee raising an eyebrow. However, these aren’t really enough to rescue the film.

In short, A Guy Thing is disappointing, despite the best efforts of the cast. It’s just about worth seeing if you’re a fan of either Stiles or Lee, but can otherwise be safely avoided. Shame.

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A Guy Thing (12)
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Content updated: 20/10/2017 00:41

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