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Movies
'Boys and Girls'

Not all that 'Boys and Girls' has no fizz

Friday, June 16, 2000

By Barbara Vancheri, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

For a movie that wants to celebrate the element of surprise in relationships, "Boys and Girls" is as predictable as rain during the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

 
 
'boys And Girls'


Rating: PG-13 for sexual content

Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr., Claire Forlani

Director: Robert Iscove

Web site: www.sexchanges
everything.com

Critics call: 1 1/2 stars

   
 

Call me jaded, call me old, but the minute "Boys and Girls" started, I knew how it was going to end. Now, you could say the same about "Sleepless in Seattle" or even "Never Been Kissed," but those romantic comedies provided delightful detours along the way, snappy lines, a genuine sense of characters connecting and some decent supporting players.

"Boys and Girls" stars Freddie Prinze Jr., the cute crown prince of such teen movies as "She's All That," and Claire Forlani from "Meet Joe Black," as opposites fated to attract. They meet on an airplane as adolescents. He's an uptight kid with braces, eyeglasses and two wristwatches. She's a forward girl who manages to mention not one but two inappropriate topics in the first 30 seconds.

As happens in such movies, the pair keep crossing paths, at a high school homecoming where he's a dorky mascot in a gopher outfit and she's the queen, and then at the University of California at Berkeley. She's majoring in Latin -- and has no idea how this will translate into a job -- while he is an engineering student interested in bridges.

Despite their different approaches to life, they become pals and when that friendship crosses the line one night, the equilibrium is upset. That provides the inevitable conflict and romantic resolution.

"Boys and Girls" was penned by "The Drews," and we're not talking Nancy here. Actors Andrew Lowery and Andrew Miller, whose writing credits include the Dennis Rodman fiasco "Simon Sez," bill themselves thusly. It doesn't take much scrutiny to know two men wrote this comedy; that would account for the menstruation joke, the quickie girl kiss that comes out of left field and the Victoria's Secret sequence (as the credits roll).

Director Robert Iscove, who worked with Prinze on "She's All That," has two very attractive actors as his leads, a photogenic backdrop of San Francisco and Berkeley and a script that has no fizz. It's like a icy Coke left in one of those armrest cupholders overnight. Flat. The only moment the story percolates is during a trip to a car wash nightclub where the dancers are sprayed with water and suds.

Jason Biggs from "American Pie" turns up as Prinze's roommate, a student whose hair tips change color with the semesters. Amanda Detmer is Forlani's therapy-addicted roomie, and an almost unrecognizable Heather Donahue from "The Blair Witch Project" is a driven electrical engineering major. She's not lost in the woods this time, just in a story searching desperately for an original thought.



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