Saturday, May 31, 2008

Two Girls and a Guy

Title: Two Girls and a Guy (1997)
Dir: James Toback
Rating: ** out of 5 stars

I'll be honest - I saw this movie for one reason only, and that is the titular "guy." Sure enough, Robert Downey Jr. was the only watchable thing in this. I know what the director is trying to say and I know the dialogue is supposed to be honest and real, but oh my god I wanted to shoot myself at times. The film is very slow-moving and the girls' acting (or lackthereof) is painful.

Carla and Louise meet outside an apartment one day while waiting for their respective boyfriends. They each brag about how amazing he is, until they come to realize they are talking about the same guy. As it turns out, Blake has been dating (and deceiving) them both for months. The two angry girls breaks into his apartment and wait for him to come home. When he does, they confront him and demand explanations. What follows is an hour of long conversations about fidelity, love, and dishonesty. Oh, and one explicit NC-17 sex scene.

I'm not trying to blow the guy, but Downey Jr. really is good in this. Whether Blake is hamming it up as a self-absorbed actor, or breaking down over his mother's ailing health, RDJ shows a range of emotion that is captivating. I can't say the same for Wagner and Graham, who came across as wooden and occasionally grating. At least the sex scene was nice to watch :)

Reading about the film, I gotta say that James Toback seems like a pretentious hack. I like the idea of exploring real people with real conversations, but so much of this movie feels forced and drawn-out. Toback talks about it like he's a genius and treading brave new territory. It is an interesting character study, I just wish it wasnt so boring boring BORING. And I wish Robert had better co-stars.