A Guy Thing

Because laughter is life affirming, I'm inclined to cut Hollywood comedies more slack than they may deserve, and I did have a pretty good time with this Meet the Parents-type farce about an affable groom (Jason Lee) who wakes up after his bachelor party at a tiki bar to find one of the hula girls hired for the evening (Julia Stiles) in bed with him. Worse yet, she turns out to be a cousin of his fiancee (Selma Blair), which threatens not only the impending nuptials but the groom's job as a corporate asswipe for his blustering future father-in-law (James Brolin). I didn't buy half of the movie's scattershot gags, but the leads are sharp and the supporting cast sturdy (especially an uncredited Larry Miller, doing an Edgar Kennedy slow burn as the minister who lives across the hall from the groom). Commercial wisdom dictates that product like this must clock in at around an hour and a half; I wish the four screenwriters had taken two hours and given Stiles and Lee some characters to play. Cowritten by Greg Glienna, who wrote and directed the original Meet the Parents; Chris Koch (Snow Day) directed. With Shawn Hatosy, Julie Hagerty, Jackie Burroughs, and Thomas Lennon. 97 min.

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