The Wood Review
By Christopher Null
Another week, another coming of age story. Turns out timing can be everything, and The Wood's unfortunate release one week after the somewhat similar (but much better) American Pie will leave viewers drawing unfavorable comparisons between the two.
The story behind The Wood, as in Inglewood, California, follows three best friends on the day when one is set to be married. Of course, he's having the jitters, so they reminisce about their childhood growing up together and chasing girls, which, basically, is what they all still want to be doing.
Told in half-present, half-flashback, The Wood alternates between time periods, launching into those "Hey, remember that time when..." vignettes, overlaid with music by Luther Vandross and other 1980's soul legends.
Unfortunately, the MTV-production side of The Wood comes out far too often, with long, drawn-out comedy scenes that run out of gas after a couple of minutes and left me yawning or checking my watch. These jokes are just too tired, overused, or recycled... and The Wood quickly becomes a game of Spot the Cliche. In fact, the whole premise has been done to death - possibly best in 1982's Diner. Maybe it's just too soon for 1989 nostalgia, but I found myself much more interested in the present-day than the booty-chasing youths of these guys, and unfortunately, that's when the bulk of The Wood takes place.
The Wood isn't horrible, but it isn't particularly memorable, either. Just another summer movie that will likely be lost in the shuffle.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 16th July 1999
Box Office Worldwide: $25.1M
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Production compaines: MTV Films
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 34 Rotten: 22
Cast & Crew
Starring: Omar Epps as Mike, Richard T. Jones as Slim, Taye Diggs as Roland, Malinda Williams as Young Alicia, Sean Nelson as Young Mike, Duane Finley as Young Slim, Trent Cameron as Young Roland, De'Aundre Bonds as Stacey, Tamala Jones as Tanya, Sanaa Lathan as Alicia, LisaRaye McCoy as Lisa