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Trimark Home Entertainment presents
All Over the Guy (2001)

Jackie: What's humiliating about an employee discount? Does that apply to this wheely-cart thing? 'Cause this is yummy.
Brett: A) I get 10% off this crap. And, B) I don't know if this whole Clockwork Orange cum Ikea thing is really your scene.
Jackie: Quite a salesman.

- Sasha Alexander, Adam Goldberg

Review By: Daniel Hirshleifer   
Published: February 28, 2002

Stars: Dan Bucatinsky, Richard Ruccolo, Sasha Alexander, Adam Goldberg
Other Stars: Andrea Martin, Joanna Kerns, Christina Ricci, Lisa Kudrow, Doris Roberts
Director: Julie Davis

Manufacturer: Technicolor
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content and language
Run Time: 01h:35m:25s
Release Date: December 18, 2001
UPC: 031398787525
Genre: romantic comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- B-BB- B-

DVD Review

I remember seeing trailers for All Over The Guy during one of my many trips out to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It looked like a light and fun romantic comedy. And it had Andrea Martin, who was in the film I was in the theater to see. So I remembered it, but never went to see it. Then one day I got it in the mail to review. "Perfect," thought I, "a chance to see a movie that I noticed and remembered. How prodigious that this should come to me. And on a sunny day, as well." And as I began to watch the movie, my initial thoughts rang through my head with assurance that they were indeed correct in having been formed. Unfortunately, as the movie progressed, dark clouds began to move over the sunshine of my joy. I noticed the quality slipping. Some characters didn't develop, while others developed too quickly. I found myself drifting, wondering if I paid my credit card bill this week, or if David Lynch was online. By the end, storm clouds were gathering, but luckily the movie finished before I was caught in a downpour.

Eli (Dan Bucatinsky) is having trouble finding the right man. The last time his friend Brett (Adam Goldberg) hooked Eli up, it was with a girl. But one day Brett meets Jackie (Sasha Alexander), and they hit it off. Jackie has a friend, Tom (Richard Ruccolo), who is also gay. Jackie and Brett set up Eli and Tom, but they have nothing in common and they know it. But then Eli sees Tom at a flea market and this time they hit it off. Brett and Jackie meanwhile, get together, have sex, and become a couple right there and then. It's not so easy for Eli and Tom, though, as Tom suffers from the emotional wreckage of being the child of two drunks, and is a drunkard himself. Because of this, he prefers one night stands to relationships, which makes life almost impossible for Eli.

Here's what's good about All Over The Guy: the first half of the movie. Here's what's bad: the second half, sans scenes with Adam Goldberg and Sasha Alexander. Goldberg and Alexander are the real stars of this film. Alexander plays Jackie as a secure, no-nonsense, level-headed woman, and the character is better for it. Goldberg is just hilarious. In all of his scenes, he has at least one line that makes you laugh out loud. And in the commentary Bucatinsky said that Goldberg almost never used the actual script for his lines, so his comedic talent is more than in just the delivery. I'd easily watch a whole movie based on the characters of Brett and Jackie, with Tom and Eli relegated to the sidelines.

In general, the first half of the movie works. This is the part where Eli and Tom meet, don't like each other, meet again, start to like each other, and eventually realize they might be able to have a relationship together. The second half, however, goes into a weird emotional cat and mouse game where Tom repeatedly accepts and dumps Eli, and Eli repeatedly accepts and dumps Tom. Because of this, the second half gets laborious, causing one to stop caring about the characters. Two things don't work in the first half: the scenes with Andrea Martin (normally she's funny, but her character is so poorly written that not even her comedic leanings can save it). Also, the framework of the film is that most of it is in flashback. I wouldn't usually have a problem with this, except that the flashback structure adds nothing to the film. In fact, the structure detracts by being taken out of the story every 20 minutes to cut back to the characters talking about the events we just saw. Granted, there is an alternate ending where the flashback format would have panned out in favor of the film, but with the ending the movie currently has, the flashback format is a nuisance.

In the end I just couldn't see why Eli likes Tom in the first place. He's boorish, he's rude, he's insensitive, and he's drunk half the time. The few good qualities he displays are a result of the natural charm that Ruccolo seems to possess as a person. Eli complains at the beginning of the movie that there seem to be no men left in the world for him to date, but something tells me he could find a guy better than Tom. And yet, no other prospects show up in the universe of this film. I know it's not really the point that Eli could find someone else, but I think he should have done it anyway.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.77:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: All Over The Guy looks pretty good. Sure, there's a small amount of grain, but a lot less than I expected considering that this movie is pretty low budget. Color reproduction is good, if not a little muted. Even bright yellows and greens don't really pop off the screen. Overall I was very pleased with the smoothness of the transfer, and felt it represented the film well. There are some very slight specks on the print that you might not notice if someone else didn't point them out.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: All Over The Guy has a fairly conservative 5.1 mix. The surrounds are used sparingly, aside from the score, where the surrounds are always used. So while the mix doesn't sound gimmicky, it's also not that exciting. Still, most of the movie is dialogue-driven, and the dialogue sounds nice and clear.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Deleted Scenes
1 Alternate Endings
5 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Julie Davis, Dan Bucatinsky, Glenn Garland
Packaging: Alpha
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Short film by Julie Davis
  2. Storyboards
  3. Photo Gallery
Extras Review: All Over The Guy has quite a lot of extras. There's a commentary with Julie Davis, Dan Bucatinsky, and Glenn Garland that is pretty comprehensive, talking about all the aspects of production, with plenty of anecdotes. A fun one to listen to. There are brief interviews with the cast and Julie Davis that are too short to really be worthwhile. There's a short film by Julie Davis from her student days that is entirely conventional and forgettable in every way. There's an alternate ending that explains why there was a flashback format in the film, and a deleted scene that is basically uninteresting. And while the box says "storyboard comparisons" on it, there is no actual comparison done, they just show you the storyboards for a certain sequence. Not a bad selection of things, in terms of quantity. The quality on some of them leaves a little to be desired, though.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

A movie that could be really effective but isn't, All Over The Guy is disappointing. The first half is almost entirely very good to excellent, which makes the black hole of the second half all the worse. Not only that, but the two supporting characters are so good that they steal the rug out from under the main characters, causing the audience to walk away thinking about them, which usually isn't a good thing.

 


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