A/V Room









A Guy Thing (12A)

Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Inside A Guy Thing. Bachelor Party Confidential; Groovy Gravy: Script to Screen; Deleted scenes; Blooper reel; Trailer; Behind the scenes - Photo Gallery: A Peek On The Set; The Stars; The Many Jobs of Becky; Lights, Camera, Action.

JASON Lee has consistently proved to be one of the finest support actors around, frequently threatening to steal the thunder of stars such as Tom Cruise (Vanilla Sky) and Ben Affleck (Chasing Amy), while creating the type of winning on-screen persona that has audiences baying for more time in his company.

It was only a matter of time, therefore, before the former professional skateboarder headlined his own movie, but while the charisma remains intact, the star is let down by his material.

A Guy Thing is the type of awkward romantic comedy that frustrates all the more because of the potential it fails to realise, while simultaneously threatening to deprive audiences of more Lee star-billings because of its Box Office failings.

Lee stars as soon-to-be-married bachelor, Paul, who wakes up after his stag do to find a blonde stranger (Julia Stiles’ Becky) lying in his bed. To make matters worse, his fiancée (Selma Blair) is on the way over.

Having survived one possibly disastrous situation, however, the hapless romantic is then thrown into all manner of embarrassing predicaments, as the blonde in question turns out to be a relative of his girlfriend, and far better suited to Paul than his bland bride-to-be.

Written by Greg Glienna, who also put Ben Stiller through some pre-marital dilemmas in Meet The Parents, A Guy Thing is a comedy that misfires from start to finish, largely because it consistently squanders the comic potential of its scenarios.

Chris Koch's direction feels laboured and routine, frequently flogging the jokes until they are practically dead, while several of the support players - most notably Becky’s jealous ex-boyfriend - simply aren’t funny.

And while the title of the movie purports to be all about guys and their inability to ‘handle’ relationships/responsibility, there is precious little of the rowdy, laddish behaviour that the name suggests, rendering it more of a chick flick than a guy thing.

All of which leaves Lee and co with a tremendous amount to do.

It is a tribute, therefore, to the aforementioned personality of the star that he almost pulls it off, making his relationship with the equally delightful Stiles something that is genuinely worth rooting for, while providing the movie with a rom-com quality that it doesn’t automatically warrant. The scenes between the two deserve a better movie.

It remains to be seen whether Lee will be afforded the luxury of continuing to headline films, given that A Guy Thing flopped in America, and was followed by the dismal Stealing Harvard and the disappointing Dreamcatcher.

But, as his character in Vanilla Sky tells Cruise at one stage, 'without the bitter baby, the sweet aint as sweet'.

Let us hope that the ‘sweet’ period is still allowed to come.


# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z