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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Threesome
Threesome
Columbia/Tri-Star
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Gil Jawetz | posted June 11, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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THE STRAIGHT DOPE:
Some movies set in high school or college seem to have been made by people who never attended school. Writer / director Andrew Fleming definitely went to college but you would have no way of knowing that from his amateurish, unrealistic, emotionally-bungled Threesome (1994). He gets just about everything wrong in this story of two guys and a girl living together in a dorm suite. This is apparently a school with no classes, no other students, no parties, no meal plan, and students that look like they're pushing 40. Josh Charles, Stephen Baldwin, and Lara Flynn Boyle come off as stereotypes of types of characters that don't exist. Is Charles' sexually ambiguous Eddy a nerd? A soulful philosopher? Is Baldwin's Stuart a jock? A punk? These characters are so vague and their personalities so unformed that the movie barely makes sense. Statements and actions come out of nowhere and things change without warning. It doesn't help that Fleming fills the film with musical montages that just help create a rushed, thoughtless atmosphere. Fleming may think that this works as an homage to films of the French new-wave but they only gloss over whatever emotional progress these shallow characters make.

Even though it is an earlier film, Threesome shows none of the promise that would forecast his excellent next two movies, the funny and intelligent The Craft (1996) and Dick (1999). He may have thought he was pushing the sexual envelope with this film, which he may have done (although why there is so much sexuality onscreen and so much talk of one character's budding homosexuality, but no actual gay experiences is anyone's guess) but the weak characters, inauthentic environment, and stupid dialog make Threesome pretty forgettable.

VIDEO:
The anamorphic video looks pretty good. The picture is crisp, although the colors are not as vibrant as they could have been. The cinematography is no better than the average TV movie.

AUDIO:
The 2.0 audio is hushed and tough to understand. Subtitles helped in some instances where a character's whispering combined with the muted levels made the dialog incomprehensible. The film's soundtrack is also available in Spanish, Portuguese, and French, with subtitles in English, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, and Thai.

EXTRAS:
A full-length director's commentary reveals only that Fleming actually thinks that this is a pretty good film. He talks at one point about how, if he were to do it again, he wouldn't use a hand-held camera in one particular scene. As Tyler Durden might say, he's polishing doorknobs on the deck of the Titanic.

An alternate ending is available with Fleming's comments as well. While the ending in the film is a typical "whatever happened to..." montage with each character's boring life capsulized, the original ending was a surreal and strange fantasy scene. The tone is all wrong and, when Fleming says that is was a good idea poorly executed, he's half right.

Also included are trailers for Can't Hardly wait and About Last Night... ( a really embarrassing trailer I might add) but not one for Threesome, as well as some text-based extras like bios.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
I'm sure that fans of this film exist and it is hardly the worst movie ever made. Still, there is something inauthentic about it, as if the filmmaker had a certain number of poses he wanted his cast to hit and didn't care what they did to get to those points.

Gil Jawetz is a graphic designer, video director, and t-shirt designer. He lives in Brooklyn.

E-mail Gil at [email protected]
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