Friends and Lovers
Eastwood film clip (collages below)
Cryer film clip (collage below)
Schiffer non-nude film clip (collage below)
I think I
can pinpoint this for you quite accurately.
Imagine that you tune in for
your weekly installment of the sitcom "Friends".
As the show begins, you notice something is wrong.
There are the usual six friends in their late 20's
or early 30's, three boys and three girls. They
also pair up as lovers occasionally. Two of the
six are brother and sister. But there are six
other people playing the roles. What happened? Did
they fire the regular cast yet keep the show
going? Nah! You just were watching a cable movie
channel instead of the network station. This isn't
"Friends", but "Friends & Lovers."
just like "Friends", except with a cast of
unfamiliar characters that you have built no
involvement with. In
fact, it has just as many typical formulaic
sitcom laughs as a typical episode of "Friends",
except that they are spread out thinner - thirty
minutes of gags spread over ninety minutes.
Here's an illustration of why not:
friends spend a Christmas weekend at a ski cabin
owned by one of their dads. Dad is also there.
Stephen Baldwin plays an ignoramus desperate to
get laid with one of the three girls. He has the
best shot with Claudia Schiffer because she is
extraordinarily dim. How dim is she, Johnny? So
dim that, although she is German, she is fooled
by a guy from New Jersey who is pretending to be
German by using a fake accent. When they retire
to the bedroom together, they continue to speak
bad English together instead of German. Baldwin
is miffed that the Jersey guy cut into his "dumb
chick" action, so he takes off his pants and
joins them in their bedroom. Jersey Guy takes
him aside and tells him that he can have
Schiffer in a short while, for sloppy seconds.
That gives you an idea of
the level of humor involved, as well as the
realism and depth of the characterizations. The behavior of the other
characters is equally implausible. Although the youthful
characters are supposed to be in their 20's
or 30's, they all have the sexual knowledge
and banter of 15 year olds. The
dad is a 50 year old man of supposedly normal
intelligence who simply throws a large metal can
of food into a microwave to heat it up. Apart
from the dubious humor involved, is that a
and some people at IMDb thought it an abomination
which might portend the End of Days, but I thought
it was just an innocuous waste of time, except
that the film's recipe mixes plot and
laughs in the wrong proportion, at least for my
taste. A sitcom, after all, is just a soap opera
wearing a mask of comedy. If you strip away the
gags and summarize the plot to your friend, he
would not be able to distinguish a sitcom from a
soap opera. Because Friends & Lovers takes
itself more seriously than a typical sitcom, it
lets too much of the soap opera sneak through.
The sentimentalized reconciliation between the
estranged father and son, for example, is
embarrassing to watch, and you may find yourself
averting your eyes.
By the way, the screenwriter
also plays a part in the movie. He came up with
the perfect role for himself. He plays a guy with
a really large penis, which is shown in detailed
Why didn't I think of that?