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Boys and Girls

It's a shame watching Claire Forlani sink so low. This elegant English actress slowly clawed her way to the top, peaking with a starring role in Meet Joe Black. Then, she dropped a little to a supporting role in Mystery Men. Now, she enters the realm of the inane in the new teen movie Boys and Girls. Also, Forlani is pushing thirty. Watching anyone that age as a high school and college student is strange enough, but Forlani is capable of so much more. Boys and Girls adds nothing new to the ever-increasing canon of teen-oriented movies. It is another boring, stupid so-called romantic comedy that falls flat on most notes because of uninteresting characters and a lame script.

Jennifer and Ryan (Freddie Prinze, Jr., Down To You, She's All That) met each other when they were children. It was Jennifer's first period, and needless to say, the meeting did not go well. They meet again in high school, and again in college at Berkeley. Jennifer is a free spirit and Ryan is an uptight nerd; two opposites. Ryan wants nothing to do with Jennifer, but they end up slowly getting to know each other. Most of it consists of consoling each other over the other's failed relationships. Slowly, inevitably, they become really good friends. The plot then essentially follows Prinze's last movie, Down To You.

The main reason Boys and Girls fails is because of Prinze's character. Prinze can be charming, but Ryan is simply an annoying. Ryan is shallow, obnoxious, and emotionally flat. These are not great traits to put in the main character of a movie. He's made to look like a nerd, and after one summer, returns with a new haircut, cooler glasses, and a whole new attitude on life. Why? Andrew Lowery and Andrew Miller (the same writers of Simon Sez) never explain it. As a structural engineering major, his entire college career seems to consist of making model bridges. Jennifer is better. She speaks what's on her mind, but apparently is too stupid to notice Ryan's obvious attraction to her. There is also the typical lines that come up in the beginning and inevitably resurface at the ending which tries to be cute, but is not.

Sadly, the most interesting characters are Ryan and Jennifer's friends. Jason Biggs (Loser, American Pie) is Hunter, who is essentially the same sex-starved character he is in every movie. This time, he realizes he is pathetic, and has some fun with it. Jennifer's friend Amy (Amanda Detmer, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Final Destination) is neurotic and amusing. Heather Donahue (of Blair Witch Project fame) also makes a small appearance. Director Robert Iscove (She's All That) certainly had his work cut out for him. Too bad he did not accomplish much.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 34 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sexual content.

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