A Guy Thing

Ribald bachelor parties have often been the source of some great comedy as well as tension between couples. With the time honored tradition of one last bash as a single person, many a person has imbibed in too much alcohol and gotten themselves into situations that they may later regret. The fabled last fling before the ring has often involved a pending groom having a night of passion with an ex, an admirer, or a prostitute. While many of the parties turn out to be little more than drunken friends ogling members of the opposite sex, there are those that turn out to be much more, causing people to hide events from others for the greater good of the marriage.

Some men decide to err on the side of caution, and leave the debauchery to others, content to have a couple of drinks and take in the action from afar, less they end up in a situation they would later regret. Once such man is Paul Morse (Jason Lee), a mild-mannered fellow who is about to marry the attractive and sophisticated Karen Selma Blair), who happens to be the daughter of Paul’s well off boss played by James Brolin. Life is good for Paul as he has a fiancé that his brother and friends admire, and is liked by his future in laws, ensuring him a good life and a good career.

Things cant be better for Paul who decides to not let any ladies know he is the groom at his bachelor party, so he can stay out of trouble and plan for his wedding the following Saturday. Of course into ones life some rain must fall and for Paul it falls in the form of Becky, an attractive Hula dancer who entertained at his party. Paul awakens the next day with no memory of the night before, and a naked Becky next to him. Worse yet, his fiancé is on the way to see him, which starts a chain of events that leads to the most hectic week in Paul’s life.

Unsure of what happened, Paul decides to play it cool, and get on with his plans, the problem is that Becky is Karen’s cousin, and will be taking an active part in the coming weeks events, so avoiding her is not going to be an easy task. Toss in Becky’s psychotic cop ex-boyfriend, a need to cover up any potential wrong doings from the bachelor party, and last minute wedding arrangements, this is going to be one crazy week.

Any viewer who has seen their share of romantic comedies will have little trouble guessing the outcomes for the characters, but what makes this film enjoyable despite the lack of originality is the characters. Director Chris Koch lets his cast have a good time with the roles, and the principals give the audience a good-natured romp. Lee, Stiles, and Blair are all likeable in their roles and are characters that the audience can root for if not relate to. The underlying message of should one take the safe road in life, or take a chance and live life is presented in the film, but in a way that allows the audience like the characters to determine which would be best for them without taking sides. Yes, “A Guy Thing” is formulistic, predictable, and at times, crude, but it is also, funny, and good natured, and a welcome if light diversion.

3.5 stars out of 5