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Repetition main flaw of Guy Thing

In the same manner expressions can become trite and cliché, so can movie plots. Of course, there are screenwriters who can give a new, fresh twist to a tale, but then there are those who don’t leave the paved path that has worked before. A Guy Thing doesn’t clearly fall into either category.

The plot is over-used, and the approach taken by the writers is not original. But, it provides laughs and just a few new twists, which, at times, seem a bit too easy.

The story is simple — a man discovers that the woman he truly loves is not the woman he’s going to marry. Starring Jason Lee as Paul (the groom), Selma Blair as Karen (the bride) and Julia Stiles as Becky (the other girl), A Guy Thing has many successful predecessors.

This theme has been used in movies such as Serendipity, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and even The Wedding Singer. With that kind of fame and success to follow, the writers of A Guy Thing knew they had to work hard to make their movie successful. Disappointingly, they didn’t work hard enough.

It’s not that A Guy Thing is an utterly horrible movie. Of course, it has the stock fecal jokes and elongated scenes devoted solely to bodily functions. Although these could have easily been substituted with other forms of humor, as movie ratings prove, nothing gets the masses laughing like using a shampoo bottle to imitate the sound of diarrhea. Aside from that, the dialogue is almost witty, and certainly humorous.

The movie may not be a complete disappointment but does nothing to improve the careers of any of the actors in it. A Guy Thing happens to be another installment that flushes Lee’s plans for becoming a respected actor down the drain.

After his attempts at serious roles (Vanilla Sky being a prime example), Lee has been on a downward spiral, choosing to appear in films such as Stealing Harvard and Big Trouble.

For Stiles, who has brilliantly played in three Shakespeare adaptations, this movie is not something to put on the top of her resume. She is unusually cute, charming and witty and gives the best performance of the entire cast. But, that is not enough to salvage the movie.

Blair’s credits don’t involve anything significantly better than A Guy Thing. Although she has starred in better films, she always plays the same type of character, which does not do her any good. Her skill is once again wasted in a comedy which cannot catch up with its precursors.

Throughout its duration, A Guy Thing has a certain simplicity that evokes smiles from the audience. The acting is convincing and well done. At the same time, it’s slightly too long, overtly upright in the presentation of its characters and a little too coincidental. But that can only be accredited to the writers, whose lack of invention turned this movie into a simple imitation.

Knowing what kind of movies they were following, those who wrote the story and applied it to the screen should have been more careful in their script work.

Although A Guy Thing doesn’t lack humor and does deliver good performances from all involved, it’s just not original.

The characters are stock, their actions are predictable and the outcome is less than satisfying.

Contact Olga Robak at oracleolga@yahoo.com

Comedy, PG-13