Three to Tango

Bomb Rating: 

This film had that same scene that "Mystery, Alaska" had -- where somebody in a sea of people stands up and starts clapping like a dropout from clapping school, inspiring everyone else to slowly join in. It's the kind of scene we've seen so many times that seeing it yet again serves only to remind us that, given the finite nature of the universe, our own deaths are imminent. In this case, they're clapping for Oscar Novak (Matthew Perry), who's just spilled the beans about his sexual orientation.

This is basically the death rattle for "Three to Tango." There are a lot of slow, painful spasms along the way, but in the last fifteen minutes, the film becomes downright convulsive. The basic premise -- that Matthew Perry is mistaken for a homosexual, leading to a Chicago tycoon (Dylan McDermott) asking him to watch over his mistress (Neve Campbell) -- has some moderately amusing moments, until its cliché-ridden underbelly starts seeping through its skin like the innards of a pig run through by a telephone pole.

Did you guess that Oscar falls in love with the perky Amy but can't tell her for fear of losing the big job with his potential boss? Golly, you're smart! Oscar mistakes love for what can only be classified as "cleavage envy," as first-time director Damon Santostefano has Campbell bending over in various push-up bras at every available opportunity. She's a glass-blowing artist, and evidently, that's what serious glass-blowing artists do.

To me, that glassblowing apparatus looks like it would make one hell of a crack pipe, which might explain why Neve is just a tad too bubbly. This film aspires to hit every cutesy button there is, but if you watch and listen closely, it really plays like a right-wing speech from some paranoiac complaining that it's really the gays who are oppressing the straights. All it really takes is for one person to think you're gay, and suddenly people who have known you for years -- your parents and close friends -- are buying you pastel throw pillows and ordering wine spritzers for you at dinner. God, it's hell being a straight person.

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