A Guy Thing review

In the real world, waking up next to Julia Stiles would be every warm-blooded male's dream come true. Not for Jason Lee, though. It's the morning after his stag night and fiancée Selma Blair is coming over, so the last thing he needs is a dancer between his sheets , even one as ravishing as Miss Stiles.

Of course, we know what happens next. Lee will a) shoo a scantily clad Julia out of his apartment; b) hide her knickers in the loo so Selma can find them later; and c) concoct a story so full of holes he'll be falling through them for the rest of the movie.

That's the problem with A Guy Thing, the latest farce from Meet The Parents' creator Greg Glienna - we're always three steps ahead of the action. When Lee realises (in the middle of a business presentation, natch) he's contracted crabs, we know his next encounter will be with a pharmacist who shouts his ailment out so it's heard all over the store. And as there'll be no movie unless Stiles appears again, it's no surprise to learn she's actually Blair's cousin.

Lee is therefore faced with a classic rom-com dilemma, pondering whether to settle down with bossy-boots Selma, or throw her over for free-spirited Julia. Yes, Chris Koch's romp is that predictable. The only surprise is how long it takes Lee to make a decision that's preordained from Scene One.

There are compensations: an eye-catching supporting cast (including James Brolin in the De Niro role of stern father of the bride), some elaborate set-ups (a pre-wedding banquet laced with hash) and the normally po-faced Stiles taking a stab at broad comedy. But would it be too much to ask for even a teensy deviation from the tired formula?

This Guy could have been really funny - if it hadn't pinched all its laughs from other, far better, comedies. Jason Lee and Julia Stiles make a lovely couple though...

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