Movie Magazine International

Three to Tango

USA - 1999

Movie Review By Alex Lau

If you're a TV watcher like me, and the majority of you are, you will feel a great sense of familiarity with the new comedy, "Three to Tango," starring Matthew Perry, Neve Campbell, and Dylan McDermott.

Perry is, of course, Chandler from "Friends". Campbell is Julia from "Party of Five", and McDermott is Bobby from "The Practice". The plot could have come straight out of "Three's Company", and the execution is a cross between that and "Dawson's Creek".

You see, Perry plays Oscar Novak, an ambitious young architect who's bidding on a project. The project sponsor is Charles Newman, played by McDermott. Charles somehow gets the idea that Oscar is gay, so he asks Oscar to keep an eye on his girlfriend Amy, played by Campbell. Oscar isn't actually gay, but he doesn't want to jeopardize his bid. Amy is so cute and vivacious that Oscar falls in love, and... well, hilarity ensues.

First-time director Damon Santostefano, who coincidentally cut his teeth on TV work, competently dots the I's and crosses the T's, fitting everything together in a briskly-paced 95-plus minutes.

There are some laugh-out-loud gags and interesting moments, and the cast is at least easy on the eyes. But that looming sense of deja vu kept on whispering in my ear that this is just another by-the-numbers effort.

Formula or no, romantic comedies can work if the chemistry is just right; Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan could probably make movies together until the 22nd century, for Pete's sake. Campbell and Perry don't lack for trying, but something about Perry's wisecracking sarcasm and Campbell's cute-and-lively image just doesn't gel as well as it could.

So as for "Three to Tango", you can sit this one out.

© 1999 - Alex Lau - Air Date: 10/20/99

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