"Two Girls and a Guy," directed by James Toback (1987's "The Pick-Up
Artist"), is a three-character drama that is set entirely in the New
York apartment of a struggling actor (Robert Downey Jr.), who comes home
from a long trip to find that both of his girlfriends, Carla (Heather
Graham) and Lou (Natasha Gregson Wagner), are there and have discovered
that they both have been being played by him for the last ten months.
It is very difficult to make films like "Two Girls and Guy," in which
there only a few characters and all they do is talk. It can be done
(1995's "Before Sunrise"), but more often than not it comes off as being
more appropriate as a play than an actual motion picture (1995's
"Oleanna"). The successfulness of such a film usually depends on the
quality of the dialogue and performances, which is unfortunate since
"Two Girls and a Guy" rarely has intelligent and provocative dialogue,
and the performances are far from impressive.
One of the main problems with "Two Girls and a Guy" is that it is
constantly confused by what type of genre it wants to fall in. Mostly it
is a comedy, which is somewhat of a predicament considering the fact
that the subject matter is very serious. And then in the end, nothing is
really resolved, and the picture makes a sharp u-turn towards melodrama,
which isn't touching, but just seems out of place.
Another flaw is in its characters, which are the type of people you are
glad you don't know in real life, since they are both unpleasant and
downright annoying. Like "Oleanna," which equally grated on your nerves,
it seemed like all of the dialogue was shouted at each other to the
point of nausea, and I walked away from the movie with a literal
headache. After seeing this film, I made a rule that in order to like a
movie, it shouldn't be physically painful to watch.
"Two Girls and a Guy" is overdone in almost all senses of the word, and
it is very messy. By not liking any of the characters, I didn't care
about their problems or the outcome of them. I just wanted them to leave
Copyright © 1998 Dustin Putman