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June 04, 1997 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1997-06-04

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

'Sprung' aims below belt for fun

By Julia Shih

By Julia Shih
Daily Arts Writer
"Sprung," the new romantic come-
dy from director Rusty Cundieff
("Tales From the Hood"), is a light-
hearted, tongue-in-cheek sex romp
that is slightly more than amusing,
but far shy of hilarious.
Without the sexual connotations,
"sprung" is defined as when someone is
*ead-over-heels in love, a person (usu-
ally the man) is completely whipped,
and the "game" is over. The movie,
"Sprung" portrays what happens when
people are sprung, as the game of love
continues to be played around them.
The film stars Tisha Campbell
("Martin") as Brandy, an aspiring
attorney who is looking for love in all
the wrong places. Her best friend,
Adina (Paula Jai Parker) is a golddig-
ing hoochie who tries to help Brandy
hook_ up, while also getting a little
action for herself.
At a sorority alumni bash, the two
girls meet Clyde (Joe Torry) and
Montel (Rusty Cundieff), who stum-

bled onto the party
impress women with1
and fresh threads -
like ridiculous party f
Right off the bat, C
antics are matched. At
ly looking for a man
with a fat wallet,
while Clyde, the
epitome of a "play-
er," is willing to tell
any lie, no matter
how ludicrious, to
get a girl in bed.
As Clyde seduces
Adina with a borrowed
bank-account stateme
the handsome and sen
left to cheesily fall it
other.
"Sprung" is so c
dictable that to pay
plot would be like as
to tears. It is obvious
Montel are perfect fo
that things will happe
tionship on the ro

scene hoping to eventually overcomes all. This weak
their cool 'tudes storyline is definitely nothing to get
but look more excited about.
favors. But "Sprung" is clearly a film that
lyde and Adina's doesn't take itself too seriously - the
dina is desperate- most entertaining aspect of the movie is
watching the little
gimmicks that
REVIE W Cundieff uses to
spoof the game of
Sprung love.
**From throbbing
At Briarwood and Showcase primal drumbeats
during a wild sex
scene, to showing
I Porsche and fake what horrifying and sometimes naughty
nts, Brandy and thoughts the characters are thinking, the
sitive Montel are movie possesses a definite "silly" fac-
n love with each tor.
For example, when Clyde and
liched and pre- Adina, out of jealousy, scheme for a
attention to the way to break up Montel and Brandy,
king to be bored they plant horrifying images of mar-
that Brandy and ried life in the minds of the couple,
r each other,and which the viewer is privileged to see.
n to put the rela- Another comical scene occurs at
cks before love the party where everyone first met.

.A
r

Adina scans the crowd of "dogs" with
her intuitive expertise, which is simi-
lar to a Terminator-like scanner. Not
only does it estimate the value of the
men's apparel (she easily spots out
fake Versace sunglasses and $10
Rolexes), but it can also reveal the
nature of the man. In a very funny
sequence, she scans a group of men,
labeling a few as "Buckwheat,"
"Pimp" and "Gay."
The two main couples of Brandy
and Montel, and Clyde and Adina are

in complete contrast of each other.
Brandy and Montel are into more than
just sex, while Clyde and Adina just
want to be able to play the game and
come out on top. Clyde and Adina are
like the jesters of the movie, providing
comic relief at every chance they get.
"Sprung" illustrates good directing,
solid acting all around and an overall
fresh sense of humor. But sporadically
funny as "Sprung" is, it is too mediocre
and banal to stand out-of the oves-
whelmed romantic-comedy crowd.

Parker only bright spot in directionless "Til There Was You'

*By Julia Shih
Daily Arts Writer
When a movie is in the process of
creation, its filmmakers usually have
a vision in mind of how they want it
made. Most of these blueprints are
well thought-out and well engi-
neered, leading to a high-quality
final product. But
unfortunately, the
creators of the R
romantic comedy
"'Til There Was
You" only planned
out the beginning
and end of the At e
film, leaving a
severe lack of substance in the mid-
dle.
The movie stars Jeanne
Tripplehorn as Gwen Moss, a ghost-
writer in search of love. Her experi-
ences in this painful game have often
been traumaticincluding shocking
events like discovering a lover's dou-
ble sexual identity and being told by
her father that he never loved her
mother (in fact, he's been waiting for
her to die). Gwen's loneliness con-
sumes her life, as she asks herself
why she hasn't found someone yet.
Little does she know that for the
past 20 years, her life has been inter-
*twined with that of Nick (Dylan
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B

McDermott), a smooth "love 'em and
leave 'em" architect. Nick is
extremely afraid of commitment, a
result of growing up in a dysfunc-
tional home. As the two search for
love while unknowingly experienc-
ing brief encounters with each other,
they are finally and inevitably
brought together
by fate.
E V I E W "'Til There
71hWWas Was You" is rem-
l There s iniscent of the
YOU classic film,
" B r i e f
tiarwood and showcase E n c o u n t e r s"
(which Gwen
happens to be watching in one scene)
and the '80s movie, "Made In
Heaven" - both dealing with fated
lovers. It portrays two people who
are meant for each other but are kept
apart by fate until they are ready.
From the beginning of the film,
audiences already know that sooner
or later, Gwen and Nick will meet.
And when they do, they'll fall madly
in love with each other. As a result,
most of the movie deals with Gwen
and Nick's brief encounters.
Many of the scenes in which both
parties are present are amusing. One
scene has Nick dining with an ex-
child-television star (Sarah Jessica

Parker), for whom Gwen happens to
be ghostwriting an autobiography.
Coincidentally, Gwen is having din-
ner at the same restaurant, one table
away, with the man who used to be
Nick's archnemesis in second grade.
Gwen awkwardly enters the eccentri-
cally designed restaurant, losing arti-
cles of clothing while almost being
knocked out by the artwork, and nar-
rowly escaping Nick's attention.
It is interesting to see how these
two lives can intertwine. But it is
obvious that screenwriter Winnie
Holzman was aware that the main
plot wouldn't be able to comprise an
entire feature-length film by itself.
She has included so many subplots
and deceptively important characters
that viewers will be left feeling dizzy.
With so many things going on and
so much of it interrelated, it's hard to
pay attention to everything. But
attention to detail isn't necessary in
this movie, as most of the subplots
disappointingly amount to nothing.
Jeanne Tripplehorn is inadequate
as the romantic lead in this film. Her
character spends a lot of the time
despairing her loneliness, but
Tripplehorn does it with such a lack
of emotion that it's hard to empathize
with her character.
Audiences will probably prefer

McDermott's side of the fated couple,
even though his character is often
shallow and incredibly one-dimen-
sional.
The best performance by far is
turned in by Sarah Jessica Parker,
whose portrayal of the jaded and ex-
junkie actress is excellent. She is
entertaining and lively, especially
during exasperating moments when
her character is faced with the popu-
lar remark by fans, "I thought you
were dead!"

Nevertheless, "'Til There Was You"
blatantly lacks direction and a point.
With only the beginning and ending
having meaning, the middle of the
movie is composed of nothing but
senseless mush. It takes two entire
hours and a lot of drag time to deliv-
er a simple message: Love will find
you when you're ready. And by the
film's disappointing ending, most
people will only be satisfied because
the movie is finally over.

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