Volume 93, Issue 64
Tuesday, January 25, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Film plays Down To audiences
Photo by Barry Wetcher
TWO SECONDS AFTER THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN, IMOGEN FOUND OUT AL'S FAVOURITE DISH - HUMAN BODY PARTS. Freddie Prinze Jr. and Julia Stiles eat of the forbidden fruits of love in the new teen comedy, Down To You.
By Tara Dermastja
Every now and again, a romantic comedy geared towards teens comes along with a simple plot, cute characters and a couple hours of fun. The most recent teeny-bopper flick, Down To You, is one which should be skipped.
Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You) and Freddie Prinze Jr. (I Know What You Did Last Summer) star in Hollywood's latest attempt at a romantic flick, which tries to capture that "tingly feeling" young adults get when they're falling in love. However, the only tingles to be felt come at the end of the film, when the audience doesn't have to endure any more sappy love hooey.
Granted, Down To You could've been cute. Stiles and Prinze are in demand as far as the younger generation is concerned and the plot has potential. Unfortunately, Kris Isacsson's directorial debut falls short of past teen successes, such as She's All That and American Pie. The dialogue is forced, the humour is not all that funny, the characters are unrealistic and from the moment Prinze directs his conversation to the audience, viewers direct their attention to their popcorn and sodas.
The story is relatively simple and doesn't need the added dialogue directed towards the camera. Reflecting back on their college days and puppy love, Al (Prinze) and Imogen (Stiles) discuss the highs and lows of coupledom and the extremes some people will face to get over heartbreak. Quite convincing as the happy couple, it's not so much the performances of the two which are unbelievable, but the situations in which they are placed.
Another flaw which cannot be overlooked is the unrealistic nature of the supporting characters. Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions) joins the cast as Cyrus, a grad student/porn star who doesn't look a day over 15 and who would appear much more comfortable in a scene featuring milk and cookies. Henry Winkler (Happy Days' "The Fonz") makes a few appearances as Al's dad, Ray, a famous television cook and Ashton Kutcher (That '70s Show) shows up as a Jim Morrison look-a-like, conveniently named Jim Morrison.
Rounding out the cast of college buddies are Zak Orth as a 20 year-old student/porn star, Rosario Dawson as a stereotypical freshman and Shawn Hatosy as a guy who tries a little too hard.
Obviously, it's not difficult to decipher why Down To You isn't worth the trip. While the movie does produce a few brief moments of entertainment, such as Al and Ray's "Cooks" idea (a spoof of Cops), most of the flick is wasted on uncomfortable conversations and costumes. Is it really all that necessary to know that no one will make Cyrus pancakes? And would anyone truly attempt to drink an entire bottle of shampoo? Somehow, Down To You seems to produce these worthless moments non-stop.
For guys simply interested in a night of Stiles-gazing, or for girls crushing on Freddie, Down To You does a good job at making most of its characters delectable. But for those looking for a good movie a little shopping may be in order.
As Orth's character states, "It's not the meaning of life, it's the feeling of life." Save Down To You for a free coupon rental. Anything else gives the feeling of time wasted in life.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000