BOYS AND GIRLS (2000)
Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Claire Forlani, Jason Biggs, Amanda Detmer, Heather Donahue, Alyson Hannigan and Sean Maysonet.
Screenplay by The Drews.
Directed by Robert Iscove.
Distributed by Dimension Films. 94 minutes. Rated PG-13.
Boys & Girls has been getting pretty much savaged by critics who have been calling it a college-aged, inferior rip-off of When Harry Met Sally. Yes, this film – which is about Jennifer (Claire Forlani) and Ryan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), who meet when they are young and keep running across each other over the years– is very reminiscent of Harry. And, no – it is not as good as the previous film. But, you know what? Boys & Girls works anyway.
The couple eventually become close friends while everyone else in the world recognizes what they are perfect for each other, only to nearly destroy the relationship when they finally succumb to long-ignored passions.
The film starts off on a startlingly wrong foot, though. The characters meet on a plane, he is 12 (and way too dorky to ever grow into Freddie Prinze, Jr.), she is 13. Within a minute she has told him she is having her first period and asking him if he has orgasms. (Strangely, Forlani seems to be playing the Billy Crystal role of the worldly aggressive cynic while Prinze portrays Meg Ryan’s uptight romantic.) Now, maybe they are trying to show Forlani’s character as a kooky free spirit, but this just would never, ever happen… 13-year-old girls do not say these things to strange boys.
They meet again in high school, but the film really doesn’t hit its stride until Jen and Ryan become friends while attending U of Cal Berkeley.
Prinze and Forlani make a cute couple and they both do a good job of drawing you into the characters (the critics have also been, totally unfairly, savaging Forlani, who does just fine in the role.) Boys & Girls will never win any awards for originality, but it is still a very nice little romantic comedy. In the end, that’s more than enough. (6/00)
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2000 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: June 16, 2000.