Volume 94, Issue 103

Wednesday, April 4, 2001


ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Put this Tomcat to sleep

And we though we had you at "hello"

Buried Treasure

Former Onyx star starts a solo fire

Film looks for lost heritage

Put this Tomcat to sleep

Tomcats
Starring: Jerry O'Connell, Shannon Elizabeth, Jake Busey, Horatio Sanz
Directed By: Gregory Poirier

By Aaron St. John
Gazette Staff

Ah, the sex comedy.

In the annals of film history, no genre is more revered and respected than this classic form. The brilliant men and women who have worked within this arena have produced countless films generally considered today to be among the finest pictures ever created.

Think of titles like Losin' It, American PiePorkies.

With Tomcats, the producers have clearly attempted to add to the hallowed pantheon of classic films. Just kidding.

Sex comedies have an enduring popularity that, considering their lowbrow appeal, is easy to explain. Still, few would venture so far as to label any of these movies as classics. With that in mind, to say that Tomcats (which follows most of the formulaic rules of the genre) is a horrible movie is a major understatement.

Starring Jerry O'Connell (Mission To Mars, TV's Sliders) as cartoonist Michael Delaney, this remarkably stupid film opens with a group of friends making a bet about who among them will get married next. The last one to take the plunge gets the pot, which is invested in the stock market until that day.

Seven years later, Michael finds himself in serious need of some money to repay a debt, so he must attempt to get his only remaining competition, Kyle (Jack Busey), hitched in a hurry. Desperate, he enlists the help of Natalie (Shannon Elizabeth) for just that purpose.

What follows is nearly two hours of the most agonizingly unfunny and boring stuff imaginable. Director and screenwriter Gregory Poirier, who was previously responsible for the travesties Gossip and See Spot Run, has created an astoundingly dumb, offensive movie, which clearly tries to ape previous envelope pushers like There's Something About Mary. To say the least, his effort fails miserably.

A scene involving an amputated testicle, apparently intended to be some sort of comedic centrepiece, is perhaps the most tasteless, disgusting thing ever committed to celluloid.

Tomcats also contains a distressingly inordinate number of jokes and situations that cannot be classified as anything other than outright chauvinism. Throughout the movie, women are portrayed as stupid, conniving or both.

Additionally, the female characters are treated with such disdain that it is truly inconceivable that the actresses portraying them agreed to take the roles. Even Michael, who is supposed to be the film's requisite nice guy, does things that indicate he is anything but.

Further, the film includes a violent shootout that is completely at odds with the rest of the picture and seems included merely for the purpose of further titillating the 13-year-old boys that Tomcats is so clearly aimed at.

This gratuitous use of gunplay is just a further indication of how mindless the movie is and the fact that the characters involved chat about romantic relationship rules throughout the scene only adds to that.

The one reprieve this film possesses is Horatio Sanz of Saturday Night Live. Portraying a good-hearted, but dim-witted proctologist, Sanz spends the film attempting to confirm his suspicion his wife is a lesbian. Sanz's performance is, aside from one scene in which he is forced to undergo the traditional "fat guy falling all over the place and making an ass of himself" routine, the one funny part of the movie.

Arguably the worst film to come out of Hollywood in a long, long time, Tomcats is a painfully horrible movie that should, if you value your time in the least, be avoided at all costs.










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Copyright The Gazette 2000