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Click for full size poster

Three to Tango

Starring Matthew Perry, Neve Campbell, Dylan McDermott and Oliver Platt
Screenplay by Rodney Vaccaro and Aline Brosh McKenna
Based on a story by Vaccaro
Directed by Damon Santostefano
website: http://www.3totango.com/

IN SHORT: Perfectly average one joke pony. [Rated [PG-13]]

Cranky had such a wretched day today that all I wanted was an average popcorn lightweight flick to make him giggle and make him forget all the crap that had rained down on him all day long. Three to Tango looked to be the film that I hoped for, a teevee type comedy with stars I happen to like.

Be careful what you wish for 'cuz when you get it, it may prove to be far from enough. Using innuendo, double entendre and overheard conversations as a driving force for a story of mistaken sexual identity may work on paper, but it doesn't come off much better than any smarmy teevee sitcom on Fox (which isn't responsible for this flick). Mix briskly with as much below the belt humor as you can dream up and it lays out like this:

Oscar Novak (Matthew Perry) and Peter Steinberg (Oliver Platt) are up and coming architects (as in please give me this job 'cuz we don't want to be designing toilets) in the Windy City. They are in fierce competition with another firm for a $90 million dollar contract to build a cultural center. The man in charge, zillionaire Charles Newman (Dylan McDermott) keeps a hot piece on the side, professional glassblower Amy Post (Neve Campbell).Believing Oscar to be gay, Charles enlists Osca's unwilling aid to keep tabs on his babe, who he fears may fall back into the arms of former beau, and professional football player Kevin Cartwright (Cylk Cozart). Why does Charles believe the very straight Oscar to be swishy? See paragraph above and blame the secretary.

Oscar and Amy fall at first sight. After a long night's talk, and what feels like half an hour of pratfalls and slapstick gags, all the lovely first overtures that befit true love leave the pair apart. After which lover-boy tells girl-on-the side that potential-new-boyfriend prefers the Other Side of the Force. From there on in its an escalating masquerade as word gets out, the newspapers out straight-man and a gay pride professional organization named him Man of the Year.

Gee, what's Oscar to do? On one hand, a $90 million dollar contract. On the other, a woman who is untouchable in almost every sense of the word, but not to his (or her) heart. And, no, I didn't tell you all there is to tell. There are a couple of routines that add more gags to the mix, all of the same sexual slant. I wanted a lightweight comedy. I got a lightweight comedy, with more variations on "is he or isn't he" than I could ever imagine. But, then again, I thought Double Jeopardy was only fit for teevee and it's been number one at the box office for a month. So what the hell do I know?

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Three to Tango, he would have paid...

$3.00

Three to Tango is probably an OK dateflick if there's absolutely nothing else of interest to you. It's a curl up and rent flick by this boy.

And, no, I'm not.

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The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is  Copyright © 1995  -  2013 by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.