Weekly Wire
Austin Chronicle Boys and Girls

By Kimberley Jones

JUNE 26, 2000: 

D: Robert Iscove; with Freddie Prinze Jr., Claire Forlani, Jason Biggs, Heather Donahue, Amanda Detmer. (PG-13, 100 min.)

There's a reason why we consistently fork over seven bucks for a love story. Most of the people populating the planet are either looking for love, looking to get out of love, or looking to get laid. Love keeps you up at night and gets you out of bed in the morning. In short, love fucks with you in a big way. Even the most casual encounter is a sacred thing, which is why a movie like Boys and Girls is such a sacrilege. It's a paint-by-numbers romantic comedy, but without the heart or laughs to make it work. It's also a systematic rip-off of When Harry Met Sally .... Boy meets girl. They hate each other. A couple of years pass, they meet again. They hate each other again. Then they go off to college and, through a forcibly "quirky" twist of fate, they meet once more. Sparks! They hang out under the guise of platonic friendship. But because we've seen this all before, we know it's not really platonic, and we know that, after lots of tension, they'll have sex. And if we didn't already know that sex changes everything, Boys and Girls has handily used its tagline to clue us in: "Warning! Sex Changes Everything." And it's true. The three-minute sex scene actually produces a brief pulse for this otherwise flatline film. Points go to the cast for gallantly attempting to rise above the inane script, but nothing ever connects. Pin-up star Prinze Jr. comes off a lot like soft-serve ice cream ­ he's blandly appealing and goes down smoothly enough, but he never thrills. Forlani fares better. Breaking out of her usually passive female mold, she plays the love interest as fierce and cagey. And though the (misleading) trailer campaign is hawking Boys and Girls as Biggs' vehicle, his role is small to the point of inconsequential. And the material he's given is so wincingly bad, it negates what is clearly a natural gift for physical comedy. Mind-numbingly uninspired, Boys and Girls takes our most compelling emotions ­ of love, lust, jealousy, and confusion ­ and turns them into something wholly uncompelling. It's enough to turn you off to boys and girls altogether.

1 Star

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