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January 24, 2000 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I The Michigan Theater plays host to the benefit Mock Rock.
Featuring many athletes lipsyncing to various songs, the show is
a benefit concert for the Jeff Reese Scholarship Fund. 7 p.m.

fbe iftcflogan &tiu

Breaking Records spins with reviews of the "Scream 3
Soundtrack" and new albums by D'Angelo and Enigma.

January 24, 2000

Teen flick
'Down' in
Stiles, script
By En Podosyt
Daily Arts Writer
"Down To You" doesn't want to be hated. It tries
hard to capture our hearts with its winsome twosome
and its cutesy original secondary subplots. But there is
something very rotten in the state of the college
romantic comedy, and while one of the characters'
Macbeth portrayal attempts to commandeer the plot, it
would have been more appropriate had he been play-
ing the Danish prince instead.
What "Down To You" does have going for it is this
- when not making us cringe, it at least makes us
grin. There are certainly ele-
ments of actual comedy here,
although they are poorly served
by the cut-and-paste editing job
Down To that leaves entire character
YOU. motivations and evolutions
* unexplained, not to mention a
nonsensical timeline. Worse,
At Briarwood, Quality 16 the female characters are given
& Stowcase short shrift, although the format
of the film would have us
g.believe otherwise.
Oddly similar to television's
"Once Again" and "Real
World" is its confessional,
direct-address framing device
that pops in and out of the film. College students Al
(Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Imogen (Julia Stiles) offer
embarrassingly chunky narration of events, and as a
result the movie at first seems far more interested in
being quirky than in being competent. This results in
a few faux-inspired sequences, namely Al and Imogen
telling each other about their first kisses and actually
being witness to the other's memory. While they
appear to have equal screen time in these little solilo-
quies, we don't learn too much about Imogen. With
Al, though, we meet his family, including his Emeril
knock-off dad (Henry Winkler), and we see the hard-
ship he goes through when he and Imogen have their
inevitable "I can't do this anymore!" break-up.
And what of it? "Down To You" spends most of its
time making us ill with corniness and jealous of the
perfect relationship between Al and Imogen. Most of
the time it plays more like MTV's other excruciating-

'Beauty,' Cruise
tame Globes

By En Podolsky
Daily Arts Writer
The 2000 awards season is officially
off and running with the presentation of
the 57th annual Golden Globe Awards
last night in Los Angeles. Lacking the
host and shtick, length and (some would
say) street cred of the Academy Awards,
the Golden Globes must be content with
the knowledge that they have been and
forever will be little more than a precur-
sor to the big show otherwise known as
the Oscars.
The first award of the night was pre-
sented by Ben Affleck and Charlize
Theron, who with little fanfare
announced the nominees for the best
supporting actress award. Angelina Jolie
walked away with the statuette for her
performance as a sociopathic wild child
in "Girl, Interrupted." Her acceptance
was a little more exciting in that she
brought her brother up on stage with her
to "show him the view."
Affleck, suffering from terminally bad
hair, and Theron, suffering from what
looked like a nasty case of terminal
boredom, then announced the winner of
the best supporting actor award. Tom
Cruise, nominated for his work as sex
seminar guru Frank TJ Mackey in
"Magnolia," won his second Golden
Globe in a row after his win for "Jerry

Maguire" in 1996. Claiming to be jet-
lagged but by far the most composed
winner of the night, he devoted most of
his acceptance speech to Paul Thomas
Anderson, telling the story of how the
impresario writer/director wrote the role
just for him after meeting him on the set
of Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut."
The Globes' patchwork of TV and
film awards began with the shift from
the movie world to the idiot box as the
award for best lead actress in a comedy
was presented. HBO's growing stable of
critically acclaimed - and publicly
acclaimed - shows racked up its first
win of what turned out to be a very suc-
cessful night in Sarah Jessica Parker's
lead role on "Sex and the City."
"I'm not a winner" Parker announced
in confusion, sounding like someone
who had snacked on a few too many
helium-filled balloons. Brandishing her
award, she exclaimed, "I don't know
what people do with these things, this is
amazing" Parker also had the dubious
distinction of being the first of at least
three winners who mistakenly read the
teleprompter's request to "please wrap
up" their speeches.
"The Sopranos" stars Edie Falco,
Lorraine Bracco and James Gandolfini,
two of whom went on to win awards
See Globes, Page SA

Courtesy o Miramax
Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Julia Stiles think 'Mmm...Cakes' in the latest teen cringer "Down To You."

ly squalid sex romp "reality" show, "Undressed," with
the same level of acting. By the time the loving cou-
ple's love boat starts a-rockin', you'll want to stand up
and cheer them on, or at least chant, "Kill the pig! Cut
her throat! Spill her blood!" They're that impossibly
cute couple that you hear every night on the other side
of your dorm room wall. Nobody deserves that kind
of happiness unless there's a real reason for it, or at the
very least an original plot twist (beware the "I'm late"
incident and the "You don't love me you love your
friends" argument and of course the ubiquitous big-
The flick has a fair amount of randomly funny
shtick, though. Selma Blair checks in as Cyrus, MIT
drop-out and erstwhile porn star, while Winkler is pret-
ty hysterical as Chef Ray. He offers his son a job doing
a cooking show with him titled "COOKS," a culinary
version of "COPS." Expect a real version of this on tht
Food network any day now - it's actually a good idea.
So good, in fact, that writer/director Kris Isacsson
might have a brighter future conceiving of shows like
"Iron Chef" than of films like "Down To You."
But there's also a lot of randomly serious shtick,
and its presence prevents "Down To You" from being
a silly romantic comedy or even a silly romantic par-
ody. Its reliance on aww-inducing foibles (Al and
Imogen consume nasty day-old party-store cake every

time they have sex - and it's pretty much a no-brainer
how Imogen acquires the infamous freshman fifteen)
get in the way of something that seems to want to be
a love story. Prinze does his best to keep the ship afloat
with his blinding smile and puppy-dog eyes, but
unfortunately Stiles is unable to keep up her "10
Things I Hate About You" streak.
I'll give Stiles the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she
just has a really bad memory and that's why she
sounds like she's reading her lines off of cue cards, or
perhaps an unused "Dawson's Creek" script. (Then
again, the movie is akin to watching an entire season
of "Dawson's Creek" in fast-forward, only it's a lot
less entertaining and, dare I say, rewarding.) Each
pearl that issues forth from her lips sounds like it's
been thought out - it's the kind of dialogue that looks
sharp on paper but aloud sounds a little too deep and
planned to be real. Prinze's earnestness and Stiles'
woodenness (except when she goes into an excellent
almost-strip tease in public to the sounds ofAl Green)
grapple for control and neither come up the winner.
At the end we're left with an afterschool special
"love conquers all" ending. It's exactly what is expect-
ed. And in a movie this terrible from start to finish, it's
exactly what is needed to prevent the conformity
police from arresting all those involved - or at least
throw Rosencrantz and Guildenstern off the scent.

Golden Globe Winners
Best Drama: 'American Beauty'
Best Comedy: 'Toy Story 2'
Best Actress (Drama): Hilary Swank, 'Boys Don't Cry'
Best Actor (Drama): Denzel Washington, 'The Hurricane'
Best Actress (Comedy): Janet McTeer, 'Tumbleweeds'
Best Actor (Comedy): Jim Carrey, 'Man on the Moon'
Best Supporting Actress: Angelina Jolie, 'Girl, interrupted'
Best Supporting Actor: Tom Cruise, 'Magnolia'
Best Director: Sam Mendes, 'American Beauty'
Best Screenplay: Alan Ball, 'American Beauty'
Best Original Score: 'The Legend of 1900'
Best Original Song: "You'll Be in my Heart," 'Tarzan'
Best Foreign Language Film: 'All About my Mother'
Best TV Drama: 'The Sopranos'
Best TV Comedy: 'Sex and the City'
Best Actress (TV Drama): Edie Falco, 'The Sopranos'
Best Actor (TV Drama): James Gandolfini, 'The Sopranos'
Best Actress (TV Comedy): Sarah Jessica Parker
Best Actor (TV Comedy): Michael J. Fox
Best TV movie: 'R KO 281'
Best Actress in a TV movie: Halle Berry
Best Actor in a TV movie: Jack Lemmon
Best Actress in a Supporting TV role: Nancy Marchand
Best Actor in a Supporting TV role: Peter Fonda

_Actress Blair gets 'Down"n edgy

By Christopher Cousino
Daily Arts Editor
} Who can say they've shared a liplock with handsome hotty
Ryan Phillipe, the goofy, cute Freddie Prinze, Jr. and the heart-
stopping Jared Leto? None other than 1995 University gradu-
ate Selma Blair. And she's not complaining.
"That seems to be all I.do these days and God bless it. It's
not a bad way to make a living,'jokes Blair. Her most recent
peck on the lips comes with Prinze, Jr. in the latest teen flick
"Down To You," which opened Friday. It's a story of first love
between Al (Prinze, Jr.) and Imogen (Julia Stiles) set during the
college years in New York City. Blair doesn't consider this a
teen movie. "This one's growing up a little. This one's college.
It's just a very sweet honest story about first love and going
1back to first love if it falls apart"
In "Down To You," Blair plays Cyrus, "kinda the other
woman," she described. "Actually what's boiled down to a pret-
ty small part because, as usual, I didn't facilitate anyone else's
storyline. If Freddie fell for me, you wouldn't like him so
much. You really want to like Freddie and Julia, so I'm the bad
seed that wound up a little bit on the cutting room floor, which

is a OK because I had a great time working on it anyhow."
Blair credits much of the fun to Prinze, Jr., whom she con-
siders "such a dear friend." "Right away, we hit it off. We were
always goofy with each other. And I read in some magazine
that he wrote, 'Selma's me with breasts.' I guess he's never seen
me naked because that's not my body type:' laughed Blair. "He
left this message on my machine before we started shooting
and said, 'Hi Selma. I don't know if you know me, my name is
Freddie Prinze, Jr. and I'm going to be doing your next movie,'
and I was like, 'My NEXT movie?,' I have a bit part in his next
movie. So I walked into that knowing it was going to be a real-
ly great set."
After wrapping "Down To You," Blair jumped sets onto a
yet-to-be-released film called "A Leonard Cohen Afterworld,"
featuring a "fairy tale love story" with Leto. "It's so clearly a
not a teen movie," warned Blair, "because it's very edgy. It's a
guy road trip movie. It's got drugs and it's got sex. I play a girl
from Michigan who goes out to L.A. to find stardom and it
fails." Moving out of the teen genre Blair said, "I was actually
playing a 25-year-old, so it was great to break out of the whole
David Cassidy type."

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Courtesy of Miramax
Selma Blair stars in "Down To You."




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