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MGM Studios DVD presents
A Guy Thing (2003)

“Is there anyone who feels that these two should not be wed together in holy matrimony?...... We're just going to give you another few minutes to think about that ....”
- Minister Ferris (Larry Miller)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: July 08, 2003

Stars: Jason Lee, Julia Stiles, Selma Blair
Other Stars: Shawn Hatosy, Lochlyn Munro, Julie Hagerty, James Brolin
Director: Chris Koch

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, crude humor, some sexual and drug content
Run Time: 01h:41m:45s
Release Date: May 27, 2003
UPC: 027616882196
Genre: romantic comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ DC+B- B

DVD Review

It seems in the romantic comedy genre that the characters are seemingly oblivious to morals, no matter what the consequences. Take for instance the character of Paul (Lee) in the new release, A Guy Thing. Paul has a seemingly perfect life with his soon-to-be wife Karen, a well to do rich girl who will makes Paul's life a dream. By perfect coincidence, Paul works for Karen's father Ken (Brolin) who, as it happens, intimidates Paul. With perfection at home and fright at the workplace, Paul is left to cheat on his loving bride to be with her cousin Becky (Stiles), who is wild and fun—everything that Karen is not. It is not impossible for one to imagine the morals that will fly out the window, along with the vapid script, during the unbearably long running length.

It would be easy to pass A Guy Thing off as yet another ridiculous romantic comedy, but there is something overly pointless in these proceedings that makes it worthy of criticism. The film has the ability to be a whimsical and funny romance about finding the one you are destined to be with. Instead, it takes a sophomoric approach and treats infidelity as something that is fodder for madcap situations. With a central character played by an actor as likeable as Jason Lee, it is easy to unknowingly fall in line and find Paul likeable, but his actions are really anything but.

The other large problem here is that instead of aiming simply at being a nice, albeit morally-challenged story, the writers takes the avenue of being a gross out film in the apparent hopes of delivering to both male and female viewers as a date film. In what other movie would you see the lead actor profess his true love while just a short time earlier he was faking diarrhea... as well as buying medication for a bad case of crabs? A Guy Thing is a poorly written attempt at both genres.

While the script is a witless riff on cheap humor, the direction thrives in the capable hands of Chris Koch. The look is slick and some of the camera angles that Koch employs make the film seem almost elegant. The rain-soaked setting of Seattle (well, Vancouver actually) lends a more downtrodden feel that helps to effectively convey the subject matter.

Ask anyone who appreciates film and they will likely say that Jason Lee is an underrated actor. Yet for every Mumford or Chasing Amy, there is a Dreamcatcher or Kissing a Fool, In short, Lee is terrific when afforded a valuable script; here, the lack of a decent script hampers his abilities, but he is still likeable and has an easy sort of charm. Stiles and Blair provide nice support in underwritten roles.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: D

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: Both 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1.33:1 full-frame transfers are provided for A Guy Thing and neither holds the shine that such a new film should possess. Colors are murky throughout with no real definition to speak of. Sharpness and detail appear soft, while the black levels showed some slight grain and lacked any sort of depth. Edge enhancement was noticeable throughout while the print used showed several instances of grain and dirt. A very poor transfer for such a new release.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
English, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: A Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is offered and as one might expect, it is very restrained. Dialogue is crisp and clear, while the left and right speakers offer nice support for the musical score and its large selection of pop music. The surround speakers showed no true moments of activity aside from some small ambient effects.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu
Scene Access with 17 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Heartbreakers, When Harry Met Sally, Legally Blonde
7 Deleted Scenes
3 Alternate Endings
3 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Chris Koch, Jason Lee, Selma Blair, Julia Stiles, Thomas Lennon
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Outtakes
  2. Photo Gallery
  3. Interactive Quiz
Extras Review: A Guy Thing failed to ignite at the box office, but the DVD certainly houses more special features than numerous blockbusters. First is a commentary by director Chris Koch and actors Jason Lee, Julia Stiles, Selma Blair, and Thomas Lennon. Those expecting a fun or informative track will be disappointed, as for the most part the commentary meanders as each member of the group tries very hard to make their voice heard. The only real information to be gained involves location shooting and some recollections of shooting a particular scene. Mostly, the track settles into sophomoric humor including jokes about sex and bodily functions.

ATrivia Track is offered and it is quite possibly more informative than the commentary. Done in the typical pop-up style, this track offers tidbits about the cast and crew as well as tidbits about the film and production.

Inside A Guy Thing is one of three looks into the making of the film though this one also happens to be the most promotional. This is a fairly standard piece that features interviews with cast and crew. There is little to be learned here, but it does rank as one of the better promotional pieces I have seen. Bachelor Party Confidential offers a peek into the history of bachelor parties with the thoughts and experiences from the male members of the cast. Groovy Gravy runs a little over five minutes and follows the conception of a scene through to the end. The scene in question deals with a bowl of gravy laced with marijuana—enter at your own risk.

Seven deleted scenes as well as three alternate endings are offered with introductions by director Chris Koch. Each scene proves that it was right to toss them, but the overall quality of the clips certainly justifies a look. The trio of alternate endings is particularly interesting since the ending from the film is not that great to begin with. Ther's also a collection of outtakes and bloopers, an interactive quiz on compatibility, and fa collection of photos from behind the scenes.

The original theatrical trailer as well as trailers for other MGM releases including Heartbreakers, When Harry Met Sally…, and Legally Blonde. Or as well call it here at the dOc!, The Joel Cunningham collection.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

I can't say that I even moderately enjoyed A Guy Thing, but the DVD certainly helped to ease the pain. The extra features are terrific, even if the same can not be said about the film or the video transfer.

 


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