Boys and Girls
Directed by Robert Iscove
Review by Matt Heffernan
Please, somebody stop the Weinsteins before they cause anymore harm! They seem to be trying to destroy Miramax, the studio they founded, by making some really bad films. Sure, that was how they started, but with later successes like The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love, one would think that they had changed their ways. Well, things are not only getting worse, but repetetive. Their latest offering (through their Dimension brand) is virtually indistinguishable from January's Down to You.
Freddie Prinze Jr. is back for another college education, this time at Berkeley, and taking the name of Ryan. The girl this time is Jennifer, played by Claire Forlani, only they don't officially start going out right away. When Ryan starts his freshman year, he is still with his high school sweetheart, and Jennifer (whom he had met six years earlier on a plane) is starting her sophomore year. She is living with a musician, but a few weeks into the semester, both of them are single.
They become close friends, tooling around the San Francisco Bay area, going to restaurants, clubs, even laundromat bars, but certainly not dating. If they were, then Ryan would not have had the opportunity to date Jennifer's roommate Amy (Amanda Detmer), even if he didn't know they lived together. An even bigger mystery is Ryan's roommate Hunter (Jason Biggs), who compulsively lies so much, that nobody really knows anything about him.
Ironically, Biggs' character was the only one that I wanted to know anything about. He is the only real talent in this film, and he tries in vain to make something of The Drews' (Andrew Lowery's and Andrew Miller's) weak screenplay. Supposedly, Boys and Girls is a romantic comedy, but -- like Down to You -- it is neither romantic nor funny. After the first 45 minutes, I thought it was almost over, until I looked at my watch. It was that activity which occupied the duration of this boring film (thank Timex for "Indiglo").
As if the content of the film wasn't bad enough, I was constantly disturbed by the noisy soundtrack. I don't know if this problem exists on all prints, or if it was the sound system at the theatre, but the buzzing undertone destroyed whatever atmosphere that possibly existed in any scenes. Luckily, there were several musical interludes added to pad the running length, and the buzzing was drowned out.
Anyway, it's definitely not worth seeing for yourself. I have officially lost all patience for Miramax, and I now longer expect high quality output from their studio. If they do manage to make a decent film in the future, it will be, as before, a pleasant surprise.
For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Boys and Girls (2000)
Video Pick of the Week
Guide to Star Ratings
Review © 2000 Matt Heffernan