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A Guy Thing Review

By Shawn McKenzie 01/18/2003

Boy, do I hate to see a talented comedic actor wallow in crap movies.  Jason Lee, an alum of filmmaker Kevin Smithís movies, is a very funny actor, even when he is given some awful material.  Last year, Lee was the best thing in an otherwise forgettable movie, Stealing Harvard (see my review), and now he is in an even worse movie with A Guy Thing.

A week before his wedding day, Paul Morse (Lee), who is getting married to Karen (Selma Blair), is at his bachelor party thrown by his older brother, Pete (Thomas Lennon), and best friend, Jim (Shawn Hatosy.)  Paul is an ad salesman who works for his future father-in-law, Ken (James Brolin.)  He really doesnít want to be at the party, but enjoys the drinks along with his friends.  As he is partying, the obligatory bachelor party strippers (well, not really strippers), called the Tiki Girls, come out and entertain the men.  One of the Tiki Girls, Becky (Julia Stiles), is doing the hula-dancing entertainment for the first time, and Paulís party is her first job.  She sucks at the job, but she ends up flirting with a drunken Paul, who she doesnít know is the guest-of-honor (Paul gave his little party hat that says ďGroomĒ on it to Jim.)  The next thing Paul knows, he is waking up to a phone call from his future mother-in-law Sandra (Diana Scarwid.)  Paul finds Becky in bed next to him.  He canít remember what happened, but based on Sandraís call, he knows Karen is on her way.  He tries to get Becky out of his place before Karen gets there, but she canít find her underwear.  He gets Becky out in time (he finds and hides the underwear in time as well), but in order to cover up what he did, he spins a web of lies that grows out of control.  His neighbor, Minister Ferris (Larry Miller), witnesses some of his cover-ups and is steamed when they involve his son.  The cover-up becomes more complex at a dinner hosted by Karen's parents.  The dinner is attended by his mom, Dorothy (Julie Hagerty), his stepfather, Buck (David Koechner), and Karen's Aunt Budge (Jackie Burroughs.)  Karenís cousin also happens to be there, who turns out to be Becky.  After unsuccessfully trying to avoid her, Paul involves Becky in the cover-up.  Things get complicated when Becky's jealous and psychotic ex-boyfriend cop, Ray (Lochlyn Munro), confronts Paul about pictures he took of Paul with Becky.  All along the way, as you may have guessed, Paul starts questioning his devotion to Karen and his growing attraction to Becky.

The title of the movie refers to some lame philosophy that all guys conspire in covering up their cheating ways.  In other words, if one guy can help out another guy in hiding an affair, he will do so, because itís ďa guy thing.Ē  Iím sorry, but that is a load of bull.  Iím not going to run out and expose another guyís cheating ways, but Iím not going to help cover it up either.  Itís none of my business, and this movie makes all guys look like they are deadbeats.  Ladies, covering up affairs isnít ďa guy thing,Ē itís ďa deadbeat thing.Ē

Aside from the ludicrous commentary they were trying to make, how was the movie?  I laughed a few times, but I wasnít exactly rolling on the floor.  Many jokes just went nowhere (especially one involving gravy spiked with marijuana.)  Lee, as usual, does the best he can with what he had to work with, but that only goes so far.  Comedy isnít really Stilesí area of expertise, but I think she might have potential in the future.  Blair is good, but her character was written wrong.  Why would Paul question his commitment to KarenÖa loving, supportive, attractive, nice girl?  Doesnít this clichťd plotline apply to a nasty shrewish woman?

Jason, please, donít do another stupid movie like this!  Do you want to be Freddie Prinze Jr.?  If you make another movie like A Guy Thing, you are in serious danger of that happening.  The couple of chuckles and valiant effort given by Lee warrants a half a peg, a little more than it would normally deserve.  Thank goodness Kevin Smith is still around to save you from the dreck of movies like this!


Ratings System:


Catch this movie at the theater if you can...

Wait until it comes out on video...

Wait until it plays on HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc...

Demand your money back, even if you saw it for free!

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