"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
Copyright © 1998 Steve Rhodes