Boys And Girls

Scripted by actors-turned-screenwriters Andrew Lowery and Andrew Miller and directed by Robert Iscove, this romantic comedy is so shallow and brainless it's in perpetual danger of drying up and blowing away. Leads Freddie Prinze Jr. and Claire Forlani, however, have such sweet, convincing chemistry that you're sustained by the hope that their adorable alchemy...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Scripted by actors-turned-screenwriters Andrew Lowery and Andrew Miller and directed by Robert Iscove, this romantic comedy is so shallow and brainless it's in perpetual danger of drying up and blowing away. Leads Freddie Prinze Jr. and Claire Forlani,

however, have such sweet, convincing chemistry that you're sustained by the hope that their adorable alchemy might somehow transform the movie around them. It doesn't. The saga begins with 12-year-old Ryan, a high-strung dweeb with a desperate controlling streak, fretting on a delayed plane. His

seatmate, pretty, forthright and free-spirited Jennifer (who's a couple of years older), arrives late and thoroughly unflustered. She ridicules Ryan's plans to reunite his divorced parents and tells him he's stupid. They next meet in high school: Jennifer (Forlani) is homecoming queen and Ryan

(Prinze) is the team mascot, sweating inside a gopher suit. That meeting doesn't go much better than the first. They meet again in college, where he's planning to be a structural engineer and she's studying Latin. After a couple of false starts — including the awkward moment when they

discover that he's been dating her flaky roommate Amy (Amanda Detmer), who's recruited Jennifer to help dump her unwanted beau — they become fast friends. But can men and women really be friends, or are they destined to be lovers? It's possible to make a movie about callow, naive young people

that isn't itself callow and naive: Just look at BEFORE SUNRISE. But this one is so dumb and annoying you want to slap it. And charming though she is, the gravely beautiful Claire Forlani is too mature for her role; she looks young enough, but she's too poised and intelligent-seeming to

make a convincing bubble-brain. The supporting cast includes AMERICAN PIE's Jason Biggs as Ryan's dopey roommate, a brash loser whose hair looks like assorted flavors of porcupine sorbet.

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