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A Guy Thing (2003)

He finally found the perfect girl

Directed by:

Chris Koch

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 101 minutes

UK Certificate: 12A

Country: United States

If you like your comedies wholly unpredictable, make sure you steer well clear of the ridiculously formulaic “A Guy Thing”. Everything you've already seen a squillion times before in countless bygone rom-coms unfolds once again here. But, for all that, it's actually fairly funny – in a strictly “saw that one coming a mile off” kind of way, you understand.

I've never been much of a Jason Lee fan, but his performance here saves the movie from the realms of the blindingly average and turns a hackneyed plot into a decent enough way to pass 100 minutes or so. He plays Paul Coleman, a straight-down-the-middle sort of fellow who's due to walk down the aisle with fiancée Karen (Selma Blair) before the proceedings are out. Trouble is, he gets raging drunk on his bachelor night and wakes up the next morning sharing his bed with hula-hula girl Becky (Julia Stiles).

So he goes to ridiculous lengths to keep the truth from his mind-sappingly stereotypical other half, gets into a series of textbook comical scrapes along the way, and gradually ends up falling for Becky – who also just happens to be Karen's cousin.

The whole plot's so hackneyed it's verging on miraculous that Lee manages to produce some genuinely funny moments from the endless supply of contrived set-pieces. Stiles is also in good form without ever having to stretch herself, and the superb Larry Miller pops up in an uncredited role as a scornful man of the cloth.

There are shades of both “Meet the Parents” and “Home Alone” in the family get-together scenes, and there's also one particular joke which was used practically identically in “Johnny English”. It involves Lee describing a fictional ginger-dreadlocked assailant to the police, only to see a man fitting the exact same description appear later – with semi-hilarious consequences. How do they get away with it, eh?

It's Got: A remarkably cringe-worthy climax – thankfully, it doesn’t take itself seriously.

It Needs: Originality.

Alternatives:

Meet The Parents

Summary

A better-than-expected rom-com, offering nothing at all different but at least providing a few laughs thanks to a decent leading cast.

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