Two Girls and a Guy (1998) [Blu-ray]
|Genre(s): Comedy / Drama|
|Fox Searchlight || NC17 - 86 minutes - $29.99 || November 3, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-10-30|
Writer(s): James Toback (written by)
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Heather Graham, Natasha Gregson Wagner
Theatrical Release Date: April 24, 1998
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Get this, Two Girls and a Guy is about, well two girls and a guy. Go figure. The movie begins outside of a NYC apartment where two chicks, Carla (HEATHER GRAHAM) and Lou (NATASHA GREGSON WAGNER), are waiting for their boyfriends. But after comparing notes, they discover they are dating the same man, an actor/singer named Blake Allen (ROBERT DOWNEY JR.).
What follows for the next 75-minutes are conversations about cheating, like, lust and love. The two gals talk about their dismay over the situation as Blake used the same lines on both of them and his oddly close relationship with his mother. When Blake enters the picture (~15-minutes in), things gets heated and the convos get steered, by Lou, toward a threesome... Oh my. Sorry, but that’s the extent of it.
Honestly, I hadn’t even heard of this movie until recently and while the whole thing is just a bore, I will say Robert Downey Jr. gives a commanding performance and Heather Graham manages to hold her own. But as I said, Downey owns this movie and there really is no other reason to even see this film. Voyeurs might be interested in the “Scene of Explicit Sexuality” as promised with the NC-17 cut that is available for the first time (at least in the U.S.), but even that, while indeed explicit, was still overrated when you think of the rating.
At times Downey’s performance is manic, almost a parallel to his personal life and chaos that he went through during the 1990s before finding a resurgence in the 21st century in Iron Man, but it’s that at times bizarre performance that makes this film anywhere near tolerable. It’s not because his character is likeable or that the two girls are overly pathetic (the fact one of them goes after Blake while the other is there is quite amazingly unrealistic), but he just gives a unique performance that if the film were better, it might’ve received more notice.
Two Girls and a Guy looks and sounds like a movie version of some off-Broadway show (other than the very beginning, the rest of the film takes place inside a loft), so I’m not sure if it’s based on one or not. It was written and directed by James Toback who has had an unexceptional career writing and helming various projects including 1991’s Bugsy with Warren Beatty (writing) and Harvard Man starring Adrian Grenier and Sarah Michelle Gellar. His last film was a documentary about Mike Tyson released in 2008.
What an odd choice title for Fox to release on Blu-ray. I realize Robert Downey Jr. as found stardom with Iron Man, but surely they could’ve found other movies to put out...
Feature Commentary – Writer/Director James Toback and Actors Robert Downey Jr. and Natasha Gregson Wagner sit down for an informative but lightly commentary that covers how the movie came about and other behind-the-scene anecdotes.
NC-17 Version (1:25:39) – I’ve included this as a feature since it is available, as far as I know, for the first time on home video. This version does run 1:16 longer, most if not all of it during the steamy sex scene. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
A Conversation with James Toback (20:43) is a new interview with the writer/director as he talks about how the film came together and working with Robert Downey Jr. in one of his first leading roles. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
And finally, the film’s theatrical trailer (2:24) is also available.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Bleh is the word I would use for this video transfer. The film is presented with its original 1.85 aspect ratio but it doesn’t look too hot in 1080p HD. The video transfer is fairly clean outside a couple dust/scratches and some graininess, but it’s also pretty unremarkable. Detail levels seem soft while skin tones look a little too warm, though that might be the director’s intent than a poor transfer. Even so, this is not a great or even good looking film.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track isn’t bad but as you can imagine, 85% of the film is dialogue with some music and singing makes up for the rest. So on those fronts, everything sounds clear enough but lacks any real dept.
Two Girls and a Guy is such an odd choice for Fox to put on Blu-ray, though perhaps that the long sought after NC-17 version is now available might make it an attractive purchase for a few. Myself, I didn’t find the movie overly impressive save for a solid performance from Downey Jr. and the video isn’t anything remarkable.