Thoughts on Two Girls and a Guy

Friday, August 13, 2010 6:26 PM By Simon
-A narcissistic actor (Robert Downey Jr.) is confronted by his two girlfriends (Heather Graham and Natasha Gregson Wagner) over his dating them both on the side, using his supposedly ill mother as an excuse.

-This is probably my favorite Robert Downey Jr. and Heather Graham performance.

-What keeps this from being an hour and a half of dull romantic entanglement--what could've been some slapsticky/douchey/lazy exchange of fits--is the honesty of the performances, and the dialogue, and the execution. There is no score, except for when the characters turn on a stereo, and almost all of it is in real time, making the huge loft that serves as the battleground for these three seem cramped and claustrophobic, as they idly chase each other around, moments of temporary truce seperating angry, sometimes vicious attacks. Allegiances don't shift so much as neutralize, and soon nobody is really mad anymore. It's interesting to watch the central three bounce around the apartment, every single emotion spitting out.

-Wagner's character, though, never felt like she belonged in the conflict. She gets maybe one scene alone with Downey Jr, and it could easily have been between a smitten teenager and her unrequited crush. The dynamics between Graham and Downey Jr, though, feel much more like a couple. I guess.

-Just a thing: I was switching between this on DVD and L.I.E. on Netflix, and it was an interesting juxtaposition. I'll write on the latter later, but seeing the sexual powerplay in TGAAG and L.I.E....they weren't similar, but y'know. Weirdly continuous, switching between one and the other.