Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I wised up at the altar of my first wedding and walked away. Sure, I would have been spared a terrible marriage and some financial woe but fate has a weird way of canceling out the good things in life too. How long would I have been single? Who would I end up with? Would I even know the love of my life, Sarah? Scary when you start thinking about it. Well, today I review A Guy Thing which explores a marriage to be that shouldn’t be. What will happen?
A pair of shots are poured. Jim (played by Shawn Hatosy) says there are three rings in a man’s life: the Engagement Ring, the Wedding Ring and suffering. *rim shot*. Heyooooooo. Jim is the best man for Paul Coleman (played by Jason Lee) who is set to be married in just a week’s time. The bachelor party is at the Hula Lounge and the bar is a hopping. But Paul just does not want to be recognized as the groom of this bachelor party.
So with some help from his brother Pete (played by Thomas Lennon), he decides to give the groom’s hat to Jim who is more than willing to play “the last night of freedom” card. Soon, we have Tiki girls who dance their way out onto the floor. One of the Tiki girls, Becky (played by Julia Stiles) bumps right into Paul who is standing at the bar. They strike up a conversation and seem to be getting along pretty well. The dancing continues and we fade to black.
The next morning, Paul wakes up to the sound of the telephone. It is his future mother-in-law, Sandra Cooper (played by Diana Scarwid) who is telling him that his future wife, Karen (played by Selma Blair) is on her way over. Alright, no problem. He rolls over to the other side of the bed. Problem. There is Becky who we can only guess he spent the night with (the times we wish for a “R” rated film). Paul gets Becky up and tries to get her out of the apartment.
Becky is having trouble getting back into her Tiki outfit because she can’t find her underwear. Paul tells her he will find it and mail it back to her. How nice of him. Perhaps, he would like to mail back her dignity too. Anyway, he makes a scene outside his apartment with Becky (still in Tiki attire) and his neighbor, Mr. Farris (played by Larry Miller) looking on. Back inside, Paul searches for the underwear and finally finds it.
The only thing he can reasonable think to do with it is to stick it in the freezer, no that won’t work, how about the toilet tank? Seriously? Any man with half a brain would place it at the bottom of the trash can and take out the trash (pardon the pun). Anyway, he is able to accomplish this just in time as his bride to be, Karen comes in. They talk about the wedding while Paul is still trying to recover from the previous night. Eventually, Paul gets dressed and decides to go to work.
On the way to work, Paul has to pay a toll. Well, much to his shock when he gives his dollar to the toll booth operator, it turns out to be Becky. The Tiki girl gig did not go so well. You think? Anyway, after an awkward moment and a toll booth arm getting ripped off, he gets to work. And whooooo would Paul’s boss be? Well, that would be Karen’s father, Ken (played by James Brolin). He talks with Paul about his promotion once he gets hitched to his daughter.
Rule #1, never, ever date or marry your boss’s daughter. Sleep with her if you must, but use your brain man. Okay, moving on. At the meeting later, Paul suddenly comes down with a bad case of crotch itch. Sounds like crabs to me. As it turns out it is. Down to the drugstore we go to talk to his friend, Jeff (played by Fred Ewanuick) and ask him where this particular medicine is. Why would you do that? Most drugstores only have three or four little sections of actual drugs. The rest is candy and greeting cards.
Anyway, Jeff of course yells out to everybody in the classic (Where is the crab medicine and how do you use this stuff?) and then Paul’s future mother in law, Sandra is apparently there too. Of course she is. However, Paul is able to save himself by mentioning that Jeff knows a lot about crabs, the seafood treat. Somehow she buys all this and books Jeff as the chef for the wedding. My head is hurting at this point, and I am just waiting for a good break point.
Rehearsal , Wedding Planning dinner, I don’t really care at this point. We have the husband and wife to be, Karen’s parents, Paul’s mother and step father Dorothy and Buck (played by Julie Hagerty and David Koechner) and assorted others. Wait, is that Becky? What, she is cousins with Karen? Nobody ever saw that coming. Oh what will our favorite dunce, Paul do? Perhaps, he will set fire to his hair and run around screaming showtunes.
By the way, let me spoil this part right now. Becky does not have crabs. I’ll leave the actual cause of his pants on fire away from spoiler eyes as it was one of the most useless plot devices anyway. However, let me preface this by saying, I like Jason Lee. I think he was fantastic in My Name is Earl as well as the Kevin Smith Jersey Trilogy movies. I like Julia Stiles. She is cute as a button and actually turns in a decent performance here. Larry Miller and David Koechner also put in quality performances in bit parts.
But the movie is a wreck. The comedy is juvenile and the outcome is so ridiculously predictable. Furthermore, I think for this movie to actually work, Selma Blair’s character shouldn’t be particularly likeable. But she actually is. She’s decent, loving and her only crime is being “safe”. What is worse is that Jason Lee’s character isn’t likeable at all. For all intensive purposes, he loses the likeable factor for sleeping around on his fiancée and then doing a terrible job of covering up afterwards.
It is the type of movie where you want to cover your eyes every time you see some terrible plot twist coming. Why, why why? It is hard to understand why Becky falls at all for this guy but apparently she is not too good at picking boyfriends anyway as the viewer will soon learn through the course of this movie. They were right, the third ring is suffering and that is exactly what you will do through this entire movie. My first marriage had more laughs.
The video is in 1.85:1 widescreen presentation at 1080p resolution. Color is quite good but it should be expected as much. Flesh tones are excellent and there is a fantastic use of scenery to supplement the various scenes. Woooooooosa lawl hisah. (quick tip for those writing reviews at home. Don’t let your wife sit with you when both of you are being silly). But seriously, the movie was made in 2003, it has Stiles and Blair looking beautiful, what else do I need to tell you?
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 DTS-HD track for English (also included is 2.0 Spanish track and a 5.1 DTS French Track). Sound is fairly well balanced with dialog as the expected strong point. Music is well-played and fits the mood well. There are a few decent sound effects and surrounds are not totally absent. Good track, one can’t complain given the subject matter. Subtitles are also included for English SDH, French and Spanish.
Notes: Quick note, but yeah this is another Fox lazy catalog release. The extras are fantastic but the presentation is lousy with a typical grey background. Throw that in with an eco-case and you have your typical Fox catalog level blu-ray.
I had high hopes for A Guy Thing. I like Jason Lee, Julia Stiles is darn cute and the supporting cast sounded like a fun time. The weird thing, all three of those are still true statements but I could not get past the movie at all. It is a trainwreck nightmare from start to finish and creates a lead character that is very hard to like at all. The only thing you might end up doing is pitying him. At least the supporting cast delivered by leaps and bounds.
If you like the movie, the disc will make you love the film even more. The video and audio are better than average and the extras are perhaps some of the best I have seen for a film like this. Again, I just wish Fox would take their catalog blu-ray releases a little more seriously. Unfortunately not recommended, the movie never lives up to the talent of the stars contained on the cover. Like Bachelor parties, this one has outlasted its welcome.