Boys And Girls

on June 16, 2000 by Mike Kerrigan
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A boy and girl in their tender teens meet cute in the first scene and you know that in an hour and a half they will be in each other's arms pledging their eternal love. You also know that the journey there will be far from smooth. You know this because this is a movie and we are in very familiar territory.

But that is not to dismiss the genre. Some great films have come out of it and Meg Ryan would barely have a career without it. But our protagonists this time are no Harry and Sally. They are a couple of UC Berkeley undergraduates who become close friends only to have everything get off track when they have a single sexual fling.

It is not that it's implausible; it's just that in this case it's not very interesting, a situation not helped by the most pedestrian dialogue. And there are far too few roadblocks to make the eventual ending compelling. She's pushy, he's passive-aggressive. Big deal.

It's a pity because it's a good-looking cast of not-bad actors. Claire Forlani ("Meet Joe Black") has wonderful screen presence and a great future. So has Freddie Prinze Jr. ("She's All That")--if he could just get a role that would let him show his acting chops.

Responsibility for deadly dull script goes to The Drews, which is how the credit appears onscreen. But this is not some family of crazed wordsmiths who refuse to take separate billing; rather, it's the nom-de-screen of Andrew Lowery and Andrew Miller. Isn't that just too cute? They were also presumably responsible for a stunningly unfunny credit sequence involving flatulence and underwear models. Perhaps they felt that as they had "American Pie" pastry molester Jason Biggs on board they had better have him do something gross. Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Claire Forlani, Jason Biggs, Amanda Detmer and Heather Donahue. Directed by Robert Iscove. Written by The Drews. Produced by Jay Cohen, Lee Gottsegen and Murra

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