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Two Girls and a Guy

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Two Girls and a Guy

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Heather Graham
Director: James Toback
Rated: R
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: April 1998
Genres: Comedy, Drama

*Also starring: Natasha Gregson Wagner, Angel David, Frederique Van Der Wal

Review by Steve Rhodes
½ star out of 4

"I think words are not serving me well at all," confesses Robert Downey Jr. in an excessively narcissistic performance as the two-timing lover Blake Allen. And the dense words -- at the rate of about one million a minute -- of writer and director James Toback fail the audience at every turn with the worst script I've had to sit through this year. (When the film broke during the press screening, I was hopeful, but our resourceful projectionist fixed it quickly. Where is incompetence when you need it?)

The claustrophobic film, TWO GIRLS AND A GUY, is set almost entirely in a SoHo loft. When Blake, an actor, fires a gun twenty minutes into the show and splatters his bathroom with fake blood, the audience will be disappointed to learn that he is not dead. He just did it to remind his two girlfriends how much they need him.

Yes, that's two girlfriends. The movie has a single interesting idea. A guy has sex with one girl three days a week, and with anotheron three other days. It is never clear what happens on Blake's day off, but since he constantly interrupts himself to call his mother on his cordless phone, one might assume that he visits her. The story is

share a boyfriend.

Carla, played by Heather Graham, is the prettier of his two girlfriends, and Lou, played by Natasha Wagner, is the winner of the film's speed talking contest. How fast can they spew their trite lines? Regretfully, not quite fast enough so that you can miss any of the lines. "Maybe monogamy violates some essential part of our being," is how Lou explains their predicament. This is one of many lines I would just as soon have missed.

The movie has the feel of a play in which they recruited three new acting school graduates and filmed their first day of rehearsals. None of the actors, however, are new, and Downey is both famous and talented. Nevertheless, the picture is gratingly awful. Even the camera operator seems lost. Many scenes find him panning the room looking in vain for something interesting to record.

In a scene typical of the nonsensical and profanity laden dialog, Lou uses a stream of expletives in her comparison of Blake's behavior to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thompson (sic). Blake, to no avail, attempts to tell her she has the name wrong.

After non-stop blather about the three characters' prevarications and sexual infidelities, the film finally winds down. But like the supposedly dead monster in a horror film, it comes back. This time the movie wants to be a sentimental tear-jerker. Needless to say, it is no more credible as a soap opera. The film's second, and final, ending gives a blessed relief to those trapped in the theater.

TWO GIRLS AND A GUY runs a mercifully short 1:32. It was not rated at the time of the screening, but will undoubtedly be an R for sex, massive profanity, faked suicide and mature themes. The film would be acceptable for teenagers if they are older. On the other hand, no one of any age should waste their time with this asinine dialog. I give the film 1/2 of a star only because I have seen a few worse films.

Copyright 1998 Steve Rhodes

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