A Guy Thing

"Weak"

A Guy Thing Review


Jason Lee is usually the funniest guy in any Kevin Smith movie (Banky in "Chasing Amy," Azrael in "Dogma"). Julia Stiles has had fine comedic timing ever since her big splash in "10 Things I Hate About You." But they couldn't be more mismatched as romantic leads in "A Guy Thing."

A cold-feet comedy of accumulative misunderstandings about a groom-to-be who wakes up with a blonde in his bed the morning after his bachelor party -- and assumes the worst -- the movie spends most of its time mining very familiar territory. Lee hides the girl's forgotten panties, discovers she's his fiancée's cousin, and has generic nightmare run-ins with his future in-law and Stiles' ex-boyfriend.

Most of its jokes come from the compounding lies that make it hard to sympathize with the hero, and the moment you meet each one-trait character, you can see his or her entire story arc mapped out in front of you. Example: Stifled Lee, who's going to veer from his buttoned-up, conservative bride-to-be (Selma Blair) and fall in love with wild-child Stiles, has a buttoned-up, conservative brother (Thomas Lennon) who is secretly in love with Blair. Hmmm...I can't imagine where that's going.

But while I could go on and on about deficiencies in the movie's plot, the heart of the problem is that the movie has no heart because Lee has no chemistry with Stiles. Or with Blair for that matter. His innate snarkiness is perfect for the role of a beer-and-football best friend, but he has the look of a high school kid reluctantly reciting Shakespeare in front of the class when called on to be romantic, or even sincere.

Stiles convincingly smiles with stars in her eyes when her roll-with-the-punches character is called on to act as if Lee is the man of her dreams. But she might as well be acting to an empty stage. Not only is Lee a colorless chump as a romantic Everyman, but he doesn't even live up to Stiles' highly scripted generic praise of his character. "You really are a good guy, and guys like you are hard to find," she says, despite the fact that his passing out was the only reason he didn't sleep with her a week before his wedding.

Despite stock plot elements (Lee works for his intended's rich CEO father, of course) and ill-conceived subplots (Lee helps Internal Affairs catch Stiles' jealous rogue-cop stalker ex-boyfriend), "A Guy Thing" could have clicked with a more carefully chosen cast.

Keep Stiles, who holds the movie together with her fun-loving funny gal performance. Keep Blair, who is just right for the role of the too-prim fiancée. Keep the recently revitalized James Brolin as Blair's amusingly intimidating father, and keep comedian Larry Miller (from the "Nutty Professor" remakes) as the disapproving minister presiding over the last-act wedding who lingers after saying "Speak now or forever hold his peace...I'm just gonna give you another minute or so..."

But give us a lead who can seem comfortable with the refined Blair while having the charisma to be attractive to an adventurous girl like Stiles. Give us Ryan Reynolds (snarky and charming in "Van Wilder"), Jake Gyllenhaal (hilarious in "Bubble Boy"), Heath Ledger (Stiles' "10 Things" co-star) or even Josh Hartnett (who proved his comedic abilities in last year's "40 Days and 40 Nights"). Then hire Lee back again -- as the interfering best friend, a role to which he's far better suited.



A Guy Thing

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th January 2003

Box Office USA: $15.4M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: MGM/UA

Production compaines: David Ladd Films, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 24%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 75

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Paul Morse, as Becky Jackon, as Karen Cooper, as Ken Cooper, as Jim, as Ray Donovan, as Sandra Cooper

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.