MGM // 2003 // 101 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Roman Martel (Retired) // August 10th, 2011
"A date movie that men can appreciate too!"
A Guy Thing was a prototype for what became Knocked Up, a romantic comedy male audiences would enjoy. Director Chris Koch (Snow Day) determined that men want more slapstick and outrageous coincidences in their humor. How does that work? Well...it's pretty much a standard romantic comedy, only dumber and more nonsensical.
We start with Paul (Jason Lee, My Name is Earl) preparing for his marriage to Karen (Selma Blair, Hellboy II: the Golden Army). He's an easy going guy who appears comfortable in their relationship, but on the morning after his bachelor party, Paul runs into a little hitch. He wakes up next to Becky (Julia Stiles, The Bourne Supremacy) and doesn't remember what happened, but we do. Wacky hijinks ensue!
Paul tries to keep the secret from his fiancé, only to discover that Becky is Karen's cousin. Doh! To make matters worse, Paul starts falling for Becky, even though her nutzoid ex-boyfriend is an insanely jealous, roid ragin' cop. As you might imagine, things get crazier and crazier as the wedding approaches. Will Paul figure out what he wants? Does he have the guts to tell either woman? Will you remember anything about this movie a week after you watch it?
In a way, I'm happy all the leads went on to better films. Not that A Guy Thing is a career wrecker, it's just doesn't show off the talents of the cast. The writing is uninspired and flat, and the romance never takes off. Paul is dumb but nice and Karen is...um, there. Selma Blair has charisma, but her part is so underwritten there's just not much to say. At the very least, they didn't make the "wrong girl" a complete harridan. Karen's just not the right fit for Paul, which is immediately clear when we meet Becky, who is fun and cute. Julia Stiles brings a lot to the role, adding sparks to a film that desperately needs it. Luckily Larry Miller (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) is on hand to add some laughs with his deadpan delivery.
The comedy isn't horrible, but tries way too hard. Some jokes are milked to death (I'm looking at you, drugged out rehearsal dinner scene), while others require characters to behave like complete morons or borderline lunatics. Nothing is organic and most of it is forced, though there are a few laughs to be had. I did like the creative use of conditioner in the bathroom scene, but the entire tree sequence that follows is stupid. That pretty much sums up the whole comedic angle: one good joke ruined by the subsequent scene.
That said, there is too much good will on display for me to condemn A Guy Thing. Besides, having watched a truly bad comedy the night before, this was like a breath of fresh air by comparison.
In terms of the Blu-ray, the 1.85:1 1080p transfer is handled well. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is nicely balanced, with dialogue coming through clear over Mark Mothersbaugh's eclectic score. Key bonus features were ported over from the previous DVD release, including the audio commentary with director Chris Koch and his cast. We also get three different behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted and alternate scenes, and a gag reel. The only items missing appear to be the interactive quiz and photo gallery.
Fans of the cast may find something here to enjoy, but everyone else can stick to the more tried and true romantic comedies they enjoy. A Guy Thing just isn't funny or romantic enough to recommend.
Guilty of being not that interesting.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 101 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* Alternate/Deleted Scenes
* Gag Reel