Boys and Girls

Bomb Rating: 

You know when an actress like Claire Forlani starts making fun of other actresses for being anorexic, the film is operating in another dimension.

At the very beginning of this film a young boy named Ryan (later played by Freddie Prinze Jr.) is sitting on a plane. A young girl named Jennifer (later played by Claire Forlani) sits down next to him and says, "I'm having my period."

I knew at that very second that this film was in deep trouble. Not a thing that's said by either character sounds like anything that would be said by a normal person. Since when do twelve-year-old girls walk around telling strangers they're having their periods? Oh, I forgot, Jennifer isn't supposed to be like other girls. In high school and in college, at the University of California at Berkeley, Ryan and Jennifer meet again and again until they become friends. Naturally, it's just a matter of time until they fall in love.

Not only are the characters wrong, their every interaction wrong. When Ryan meets his new college roommate, Hunter (Jason Biggs), the rapport is like that between two lifelong friends. When Ryan and Jennifer bump into each other later on, Jennifer initiates the conversation by telling Ryan she "got dumped." Essentially what's happening here is that director Robert Iscove and the screenwriters don't have the slightest idea how to create an interesting story so they've taken to being condescending. Everything the characters say is an explanation of their feelings or their actions. You know when an actress like Claire Forlani starts making fun of other actresses for being anorexic, the film is operating in another dimension.

Another of the film's problems is its total disregard for geography. It bounces around the Bay area as though it were all connected by a simple walking bridge. Everyone attends Berkeley and Ryan seems to live in a dorm. Jennifer and her roommate seem to live in San Francisco. The most ridiculous part is that Ryan's favorite "thinking" spot is a place on the north side of the Golden Gate bridge, yet the film treats it as though he just walks from his dorm room to get there. The only reason I stayed until the end of this insulting piece of junk is that I thought Ryan might fall into the Bay.

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