Aside from Solondz's decidedly risky topics, his format in Storytelling takes chances. It presents two separate shorts, entitled "Fiction" and "Non-fiction," with no obvious connection between the two. The only true thread is that both comment on the telling of tales, the shifting of points of view, and the way most people in Solondz's suburban landscapes constantly paddle their painful lives upstream.
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So goes the curious event that A Guy Thing -- a well-meaning but almost completely worthless trip through a minefield of infidelity, masculinity and self discovery -- is based upon.
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Hey, you know what's funny? False accusations of child molestation. That's just the most hilarious way to get back at your father for being mean to you because you're a hopeless screw-up. At least, that's what Tom Green seems to think.
Green is that MTV personality who takes a video camera out into the world to record himself accosting embarrassed strangers and performing gross-out stunts for the amusement of easily entertained viewers. He wrote, directed and stars in "Freddy Got Fingered," a lose collection of sub-par Green gags orbiting around a 28-year-old unemployed nitwit whose dad (Rip Torn) hates him because, well, he's a worthless human being who goes out of his way to make Dad ashamed of him.
Aww, poor Tom. He's so misunderstood.
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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.
Continue reading: A Guy Thing Review
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