Boys and Girls
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Exciting young stars Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Down To You, She's All That) and Claire Forlani (Mystery Men, Meet Joe Black) ride a fun rollercoaster to romance in this sexy comedy hit! Shy bookworm Ryan (Prinze) and the outgoing, free-spirited Jennifer (Forlani) couldn't be more different. So when they first meet, they can't stand each other. When they meet again, they loathe each other! But when they finally reconnect in college, all that friction eventually explodes into red-hot romantic fireworks! With hilarious friends Jason Biggs (American Pie), Amanda Detmer (Final Destination) and Heather Donahue (The Blair Witch Project) along to pump up the fun, you'll laugh along as these irresistible boys and girls sort out all of love's confusing complexities!
Behind the generic title of Boys & Girls lies a surprising enjoyable and nuanced romantic comedy. Teen heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Ryan, a dorky, emotionally sincere young guy who keeps crossing paths with Jennifer, played by Claire Forlani, an independent and willfully unattached young woman. Their chance meetings coincide with relationship traumas and they start to confide in each other, which leads to a more genuine friendship and, in the midst of their college years, a romance. It's a bit of a stock plot line to have their friendship threatened by sexual attraction, but Boys & Girls has just enough genuine feeling to make it compelling. Meanwhile, Jason Biggs (from American Pie) plays Ryan's roommate, a compulsive liar and would-be scam artist, who carries off some pretty funny scenes. Forlani and Prinze work together quite well. Their performances hearken back to the classic screwball comedies of the 1930s, with the repressed male simultaneously attracted and horrified by a footloose dame. Some kooky moments are a little strained, but at other times the movie has a refreshing realism about human emotions. Overall, a much more engaging and entertaining flick than its ad campaign suggests. Also featuring Alyson Hannigan from the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Heather Donahue from The Blair Witch Project. --Bret Fetzer
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Top customer reviews
My first encounter with this movie was actually on TV. After, I had to buy it in order to watch the beginning half that I missed.
This movie has strong dialogues and will open your mind about the relation between a male and female's best friend relationship. The brute honesty in a few scenes had emotional & great diction which was worth buying the movie alone. I would repeat the scene and personally recite the lines along with the movie each time.
If you're someone who's ever had a relationship where you were the less outgoing of the two, or had feelings for your best friend, this little tale of a twisted destiny is highly recommended.
Jennifer & Ryan are pre-teens when they meet. Jennifer is being very forward, discussing the implications of her period. Ryan is a geek, trying to plan everything, who doesn't think Jennifer is his type, and pushes her away. As the plane takes off, he is afraid of flying. I actually missed this symbolism, but something at the end of the movie reminds you of it.
For the next 5 or so years, and dozens of chance meetings, this scenario repeats until the viewer can hardly stand it. Ryan will not pick up on Jenny's advances. For contrast, his roomate works entirely too hard at meeting girls. Does Ryan play it too straight and careful? Is Jenny too slutty? Is her roomate gay? There are lots of interesting angles and subplots, exaggerated so you don't have to be a genius to pick them up, which I find helpful. :)
For the next 3 years Ryan & Jenny are best friends. Then something complicated happens, involving all four characters (including Jenny's roomate). No, not group sex, it's not that kind of movie, but some strange things, and I will try not to give awayany more .
What do you get when you cross Eric Rohmer (director of French "talkie" films about the early stages of relationships, in fact he made one called "Boyfriends and Girlfriends") with Jane Austen (early 19th century author of carefully plotted romances, e.g. the award winning "Sense & Sensibility")? You get something like "Boys & Girls." Unfortunately, it is the only movie in this vein that Robert Isgrove directed.
Ultra-feminists will not like the ending. Everyone else will. A few people will not like the way the flashbacks are done, but it is not overdone. Audio track is selectable for English or French (suggesting Isgrove was possibly aware he was making an intellectual French-style movie, albeit the ending is very American rom-com). Subtitles can be had in Spanisn or English (for the hearing impaired). Lots of previews of other similar movies on the DVD, but no info about cast, director or "making of." Decent pop soundtrack.
As long as your expectation is reasonable (it's not quite as silly and cute as a teen comedy - they meet only once in high school years, most of the action is in college, and they do sometimes pass up parties to hit the books), you should enjoy the movie.
Ultimately my favorite part of the movie is the first half. The movie starts with a young Ryan and Jennifer meeting for the first time on a plane from New York to Los Angeles. Their encounter remains so memorable that five years later Ryan recognizes Jennifer during a football game. As luck would have it the two also eventually end up both in college at Berkeley and bump into each other in a series of When-Harry-Met-Sally-esque encounters over a number of years.
Prinze definitely plays against type here, he doesn't play a hotshot high school football star but instead Ryan is a difficult, unsure teen attempting to make his way through an engineering degree and Forlani is the confident, assured college girl who has no trouble getting dates, but is unable to maintain any long-term commitment.
Providing possibly his funniest performance is Jason Biggs (of American Pie fame) who plays Ryans college roommate Hunter (well that's not his real name but he feels it sounds better when picking up girls). From his introduction - getting stuck in a storage case to his eventual success in the girl department - his all too rare screen moments provide some great humor and lend a certain charm to the movie giving it an edge over the adult movie that so clearly inspired it.
I've seen this movie numerous times, its one of my guilty pleasures that speaks to me on so many levels.
Incidently if you have seen this movie on television the chances are that you have not seen it all. I have seen "Boys and Girls" shredded to bits on network tv.