Two Girls and a Guy
Reviewed by Mike Emery, Fri., Aug. 18, 2000
Two Girls and a GuyD: James Toback (1998); Robert Downey Jr., Heather Graham, Natasha Gregson Wagner.
Before his current stint behind bars, Downey gave a decent performance as Blake, a two-timing thespian in this James Toback film. His respective lovers Carla (Graham) and Lou (Gregson Wagner) meet and soon discover they share his affections. Enraged, they proceed to confront him in his plush (very plush) Manhattan loft. It seems that the ever-sincere Blake has told both women he loves them in exactly the same words. Even more mortifying is the fact that they both find out his lovemaking is similar, too. Underlying such shenanigans is an almost unhealthy relationship with his ailing mother, whom he seems to cherish more than either girlfriend. Both Carla and Lou are humiliated, to say the least, but Blake is too damned charming for them to completely hate. Downey is at his weaselly finest. He stammers, stutters, and finally gets his act together enough to justify his infidelities. As corny as each of his reasons are for his deeds, he still makes them come across as semi-reasonable. Enough so that breaking up is hard to do for all parties involved and out come more secrets that add fuel to this fire. Graham is somewhat placid and predictable as Carla, a sexy uptown designer. Gregson Wagner's character, however, exudes a youthful, sensual charm, which makes her perhaps the most sympathetic person in this trio. The characterizations are fairly balanced, but the script is often delivered stiffly (especially by Graham). The key to the whole thing is Downey, who doesn't seem too far removed from the spoiled party boy he plays here. His phone conversations with the faceless mother are creepy to say the least. But once he hangs up, he's completely in mode, trying to salvage this double tryst. A showcase for a guy whose off-screen life was probably spiraling out of control during production, Two Girls and a Guys serves as little more than just that.