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Movie Reviews

Boys and Girls  

Cast
Ryan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.)
Jennifer (Claire Forlani)
Steve (Jason Biggs)
Mary (Heather Donahue)
Amy (Amanda Detmer)

Directed by Robert Iscove Written by Andrew Lowery and Andrew Miller

Rated PG-13 for sexual content
Running Time: 100 minutes Distributed by Dimension Films
Boys and Girls
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Boys and Girls is better than most teenager films, but that isn't saying a lot. Ryan (Prinze, Jr.) and Jennifer (Forlani) are opposites who definitely do not attract. At least that's what they have always believed. When they met as twelve-year olds, they disliked one another. When they met again as teenagers, they loathed each other. But when they meet in college, the uptight Ryan and the free-willing Jennifer find that their differences bind them together and a friendship develops. Now with the help of their roommates-the crazy and constant lying Steve (Biggs) and the flirtatious Amy (Detmer)-they're about to figure out what men really want, what women definitely need and what happens to friendships when going for it goes too far.

Besides a few moments of laughter and a waste of good talent with Jason Biggs, Boys and Girls is a pretty stale film.

Boys and Girls was directed by Robert Iscove, who previously directed She's All That. There are many obvious directorial similarities between Iscove's direction in She's All That and Boys and Girls. An example is the way he makes his characters recall the past. Iscove creates this aspect in having the characters appear in their own flashbacks while they are telling them. Iscove uses this effect in a dorm room, when Ryan is narrating how his recent relationship ended. It is a different type of vision that seems to make the scenes clearer, not pronouncedly stupid (Like the similar vision used in Eye of the Beholder). Also, like in She's All That, Iscove creates a fast moving dance sequence in Boys and Girls between Jennifer and Ryan. Though the choreography is similar, the style and setting is different in the two films' dance scenes. The rest of Iscove's direction is typical for the film's story and genre.

The film's script by Andrew Lowery and Andrew Miller is a predictable mess. The audience will know what happens to all the characters within the first fifteen minutes of the film. The dialogue is terrible and the scenes between the two lead characters are dismal, compared to the scenes involving the supporting characters of the film. The storyline is something that everyone has seen numerous times before, which is; (pretty girl meets ugly guy, pretty girl and ugly guy become friends, pretty girl and no more ugly guy fall in love). The one scene that is really funny takes place during the end credits of the film. In this scene, Steve meets 4 or 5 Victoria Secrets models. However, I don't even believe this scene was written in the script. The scene seems like something the director would come up with, or Jason Biggs, the actor who plays Steve, would create.

Speaking of Jason Biggs, he delivers the only good performance in this film. Biggs broke into Hollywood last summer as Jim in American Pie. He is a very funny and energetic actor that reminds me a lot of Ben Stiller. Claire Forlani delivers a mild performance as flamboyant Jennifer. Forlani is an actress that I thought would breakthrough a few years ago, because I really liked her as Susan in Meet Joe Black. However, Meet Joe Black got trashed by critics and tanked at the box office. So I guess Forlani's status didn't rise. She has great cheekbones and emotions that could help bring her into stardom. On the other hand, she is falling down the ladder from getting a juicy role, because her past films and Boys and Girls have all flopped. Heather Donahue makes her first on screen appearance since running and screaming in last year's The Blair Witch Project. Donahue plays a college student who has a lust for Ryan. Overdone is the word that comes to mind while watching her act in this film. Finally, there is Freddie Prinze, Jr., who plays Ryan. In my opinion, Prinze is one of the worst actors in Hollywood. He has no reason for being on the screen. Seeing him act is like looking at a blank wall or a thousand question marks, he is awful. Somebody once told me that if he had a change of scenery (a different type of movie besides teen movies) that he would be effective. I don't know, I still cannot see him becoming a good actor. But, why doesn't he do a film outside of teen genres.

Boys and Girls is a film that younger moviegoers will certainly enjoy. It has a few comedic moments, especially the last scene in the credits.

Report Card Grade: C-

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