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movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Tomcats

Starring: Shannon Elizabeth, Jerry O'Connell
Director: Gregory Poirer
Rated: R
RunTime: 93 Minutes
Release Date: March 2001
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Jake Busey, Jaime Pressly, Bill Maher, Horatio Sanz

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

In TOMCATS, writer and first-time director Gregory Poirier, whose scripts have ranged from the superb (ROSEWOOD) to the pathetic (GOSSIP), sets a raunchy tone from the get-go, trying, as so many have, to turn out the next THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. In a long-running testicle scene, which will have the men in the audience squirming, he gets large laughs that do approximate those produced by the now classic zipper scene in MARY. Ah, if all of this hit-and-miss movie were just that crudely funny, TOMCATS could have some hit potential. Of course, without name stars like Diaz, Dillon and Stiller, a big success is hard to pull off.

The plot concerns some happy bachelors who are reluctantly wedding bound. In order to encourage each of these self-proclaimed tomcats to remain single as long as possible, they form a pool, which gets invested in a go-go mutual fund. Apparently the movie was wrapped pre-crash since the cash in the account soars to half-a-million dollars. The last man standing unhitched gets to take home the loot.

The possibility of riches becomes essential to Michael Delaney (Jerry O'Connell) after he loses it all at the craps table. A disreputable casino owner gives Michael four weeks to come up with what he owes, or he will be killed. Since there is only one other unmarried man among his buddies, all he needs to do is convince him to the tie the knot with someone.

Kyle Brenner (Jake Busey), a man who once vowed to nail every woman on the planet with the exception of his mother and his grandmother, is the man that Michael must convince of the joys of marital bliss. A man with an ego and a libido the size of Montana and a brain the size of a rabbit's, Kyle gives bad taste a bad name. Among the bizarre sexual pleasures he has discovered is the titillation factor of having sex with a barfing woman.

Michael, however, discovers Kyle's weakness. The one memorable woman in Kyle's life is a police officer named Natalie Parker (Shannon Elizabeth), although he only had his traditional one-night stand with her. Offering to split the earnings with her, Michael gets Natalie to entice Kyle to say "I do." Kyle's perfect woman is a "cosmetics counter girl," since they are subservient and smell good, so Natalie poses as a perfume pusher in order to turn Kyle on. The trouble, of course, is that the commitment-phobic Michael falls for Natalie.

Along the way, the jokes come fast and furious. Most are as lame as the old out-of-control water hose gag. Some, however, are quite funny, including one in which all the wives of Michael's old buddies are nursing their babies at a restaurant. This over-the-top lactating scene will undoubtedly turn off as many viewers as it will amuse.

Although the uneven TOMCATS isn't quite worth recommending, it does produce some nice laughs. And somehow, the little romance between Michael and Natalie does have some surprising charm. Oh well, at least the film's a lot better than last week's crude comedy, SAY IT ISN'T SO, although that isn't much of a compliment.

TOMCATS runs 1:32. It is rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue and for language. It would be acceptable for older teenagers.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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