Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent in places, but never really fulfils its promise, 22 Aug 2012
This review is from: Three To Tango [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
A romantic screwball comedy with obvious nods to the Frank Tashlin films of the late 1950s, and Doris Day and Rock Hudson's dryly witty trio of romance films, 'Three to Tango' is an enjoyable and moving, if inconsistent, film. The film centers upon a love-triangle between Oskar Novak (Matthew Perry), his adulterous boss Charles (Dylan McDermott), and Charles' mistress, Amy (in a wonderful turn from Neve Campbell), as Charles hires Oskar, whom he wrongly believes to be gay, to keep an eye on Amy (whom Charles worries might have her eye on other men). The actually heterosexual Oskar quickly falls in love with Amy, and comedy and romance ensue. The chemistry between Perry and Cambell is the best thing about 'Three to Tango', and their awkward route towards romance is both plausible and highly entertaining, and both characters are held together well by a script which provides a good blend of heartfelt moments and gentle, slightly low-brow jokes. However, McDermott's character is nothing more than a ridiculous stereotype, and his relationship with the free-spirited, kindly Amy (not to mention her liasons with this married man), seem ill in keeping with the general portrayal of her character.

Indeed, it is the inclusion of a handful of poorly-written characters, and the sometimes clunky treatment of the issue of homosexuality which keeps 'Three to Tango' from being a genuinely excellent film. John C. McGinley and Bob Balaban are both undoubtedly good actors, but, like McDermott, are written into cliched and dull roles, which unfortunately highlight the film's refusal to truly branch out and engage its subjects. The attitude to homosexuality, whilst mature at times (such as in Perry's moving speech towards the film's close) are undercut by crass jokes about Oskar's father being intensely relieved about his son's true sexuality, and the gay characters in the film do veer rather too much towards stereotype. It's a real shame, as 'Three to Tango' has two superb lead performances to offer - from Perry and Campbell respectively -, a positive and relevant message about homosexuality, which it manages to keep to some of the time, and to top things off, it is sumptuously shot, and backed with a wonderful, lively jazz score. 'Three to Tango' is worth a watch, but for all its good points, it does feel like rather a missed opportunity.
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