A film that is still used today when discussion of the MPAA ratings board comes up, director James Toback's three character drama generally has high moments, but even at 85 minutes, begins to go on a little too long for its own good. Carla (Heather Graham) and brunette Lou (Natasha Gregson Wagner) sit outside a New York apartment one morning, both waiting for their boyfriend to come home. After Lou begins to praise the guy, Carla starts to notice how similar her boyfriend sounds - oops, they're both seeing the same guy.
The two girls break into his apartment and much dialogue about not only relationships, but boyfriend Blake(Robert Downey, Jr.). The girls originally talk about how much they would like to injure him, but when he finally arrives home, the proceedings turn into an arguement, as we watch Blake have to explain his way out of things.
From here on in, it mainly turns into the Robert Downey, Jr. show. The actor improvised most of his dialogue, apparently, and he has a great time - singing, dancing, and trying to figure a way to fix things between himself and the two girls. Graham and Wagner are usually very good, as well. The more restrained Graham is a nice contrast to the ever-talkative Wagner.
The film's NC_17 rating was due, and it's almost not worth talking about here, since it's apparently the R rated version that ended up on the DVD, is due to a a very short sexual scene that never really seemed that erotic in the first place. There's certainly been more "intense" sequences, and whole films for that matter, that have gotten away - almost easily - with an R.
"Two Girls" presents a lot of discussion of the mysteries of relationships and life that we've heard elsewhere, but there's moments here and there - mainly some fairly brilliant improvised work from Downey and the occasional work from the two girls - that rises above the average.
VIDEO: Fox gives "Two Girls and a Guy" a rather nice 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer that presents the film at about as fine as it could look - it's simply a film almost entirely shot in one apartment, so it's not something that's going to be demo material - I mean, it's a nice apartment, but it's not particularly stunning in any way. Anyways, sharpness and detail are usually pretty solid throughout the picture; there's a hint of softness now and then throughout the apartment scenes, but nothing too irritating.
There are some flaws, though. I noticed some print flaws throughout the movie - minor marks and speckles, and not throughout the entire movie, but a few more than I would like to see from a recent picture. A couple of minor traces of pixelation also appeared. Colors? Well, there really aren't many. The apartment is generally made up of shades of brown, with a few other light colors showing through a few times. It's certainly not a poor quality transfer in the least, but it's just not a particularly remarkable effort.
SOUND: "Two Girls and a Guy" is presented in Dolby 2.0 and, literally, it is all dialogue. There's a few very minor touches of score throughout the picture, but so rare that it really doesn't leave much of an impression. Dialogue generally sounded natural and clear, with no issues in the way of thinness or edginess. And really, that's all there is to it.
MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with red-tinted images from the film as backgrounds.
Commentary: This is a commentary from director James Toback, actor Robert Downey, Jr. and actress Natasha Gregson Wagner. It's one of the better commentaries I've listened two lately, with Toback doing much of the discussion, but letting the other two participants share occasionally throughout. Toback has done a commentary before for his 2000 film "Black and White", and he's pretty good at offering stories and information in an interesting and informative manner, only rarely going back to simply discussing what's going on in the picture. The two actors put in their two cents about what it was like to work with one another and the director, and the experiences of doing a small, dialogue-driven picture that mainly took place in one small setting. There's a few small pauses of silence throughout the track, but the three are generally able to keep things going during the entire length of the film.
Trailers: Trailers for "Two Girls and a Guy", "The Beach", "The Ice Storm", "Ravenous", "Titus", "Me, Myself and Irene", "Quills".
Final Thoughts: "Two Girls and A Guy" is a well-performed, almost play-like feature that simply doesn't always have enough to do to cover the 84 minutes. Fox has provided a satisfying DVD, though, with good audio/video quality and a solid commentary.
The Film ** 1/2
Video 86/B = (348/400 possible points)
Audio: 84/B = (336/400 possible points)
Extras: 80/B- = (240/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 81/B- = (243/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: ** 1/2
DVD GRADE: B