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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Trois: Special Edition
Trois: Special Edition
Columbia/Tri-Star
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted November 26, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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CineSchlock-O-Rama

The menage-a-trois is a slippery subject. Hollywood got the combination ALL WRONG in Threesome. No one wants to see Lara Flynn Boyle get half-heartedly chased around by TWO GUYS (even if they were Jack Nicholson and David Spade). And it wasn't until the big-screen champaign party in Wild Things that the whole mess got straightened out. No, the good lord meant for the ratio to always be TWO WOMEN to every man -- and if one is to follow the fullest letter of the law, the ladies should be French (or possibly dressed as French maids). That's it. End of discussion. No more E-mail on this subject! As it turns out, Trois (2000, 93 minutes), one of the year's highest-grossing, African-American, independent-films shot for $200,000 in Atlanta, deals with this very subject -- and thankfully these fellas got their figures right.

The movie: Jermaine and Jasmine have lost their boom-boom in the bedroom. Jermaine thinks adding another chick will do the trick. Jasmine can't stop yawning during their lurchy couplings. Even while Jermaine (Gary Dourdan) toils at his law office, he dreams of diddling two babes at once, and even talks himself into believing it'll somehow bring he and his wife CLOSER together. Meanwhile Jasmine (Kenya Moore) whines to her galpal about how lame her once studly hubby has become in the sack. The situation seems dire for the young couple until the buxom bride awakes from a horrible nightmare and suddenly agrees to indulge her husband. An astonished and horny Jermaine enlists office buddy Terrance (Soloman Smith) to recruit the perfect woman for this decidedly "adult" game of Twister. The seriously sluty Jade (Gretchen Palmer) seems the perfect choice, as she's a bisexual stripper who's just trashy enough to be HOT to a fella looking to close this sort of deal. Only she needs money to defend herself in court, lest she loose her son in a bitter custody battle, which recently reached a fevered pitch when she had her butch lovers whup her ex-husband's ass when he tried to serve her court papers in a gay bar. Who thinks that's a joke? It ain't. She squeezes Jermaine for $1,000 but promises she'll be worth every cent. Uh-huh. After the sheets are flung from one corner of the boudoir to the other, and Jermaine wakes with a silly grin, all heck breaks loose and the plot plays Wheel-of-Deception like any number of previous erotic thrillers -- but, without the customary skin appeal. Teen beauty pageant, um, enthusiasts will likely remember the deliciously curvaceous Kenya from when she was crowned Miss USA 1993 (previously Miss Michigan).

Notables: One poorly-lit breast. One corpse. Gratuitous home-video montage. Gratuitous slo-mo AND fast-mo. Toe nookie. Multiple dream sequences. One bubble bath. Wriggling maggots. Puking. One ice-cold lesbian kiss. The ol' rattlesnake trick.

Quotables: How NOT to coax your lady into a three-way, "It's not such a big deal. Lot's of couples do it. I'm just trying to take our relationship to the next level. Don't you want to be sexually free?" Terrance is even less diplomatic when describing his frustration with his long-distance relationship, "I be feeling like my nuts are gonna explode." Undoubtedly why Kenya Moore accepted the role of Jasmine, "I stood by you when your ass was broke! And I put up with your bitching about work every night! And I even let you bring another woman into my bed! You had me do things that I knew were wrong! You had me thinking I was GAY, or some damn super freak!! But you know what?! No more. I can do better for my DAMN self!"

Time codes: Menage-a-three X 5 = LAME (11:43). Jasmine slinks onto the dance floor in a dress three sizes too small (30:40). The much-anticipated deed -- intercut with FISH TANK footage!? (32:45). Jade emotes (58:20).

Audio/Video: Fairly clean widescreen (1.85:1) print. The production values are centered in the direct-to-video realm, but there's only a tiny bit of digital grain, limited mostly to one bar scene. A purely utilitarian Dolby Digital 2.0 track.

Extras: This is said to be the "unrated version" with "additional footage," but there's really not much to shout about. Chummy audio commentary with director Rob Hardy and producer William Packer who go WAY back and love saying "menage-a-trois" almost as much as "it's all good." Video interviews with the same fellas, speaking about the film's financing, distribution, screenplay -- the regular stuff. Alternate ending that tosses in another, but cliche, twist. Static menus without audio. Talent bios. A trailer park with reels on Trois, Cruel Intentions, Black and White, Blue Streak and the aforementioned Wild Things.

Final thought: For a flick centered around a threesome, it's pretty dern chaste. But the escalation of revenge pranks and mutli-twist ending pay nearly adequate penance. Recommended.

Check out CineSchlock-O-Rama
for additional reviews and bonus features.

G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.

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