Plot: What’s it about?
Ryan Williams (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is a bookworm who doesn’t have much in terms of social skills, so when his longtime girlfriend leaves him, he is left with few options. He’s new to the campus and doesn’t like to start conversations, so he has a lot of trouble meeting new friends. But he does spend a lot of time with his offbeat roommate, Hunter (Jason Biggs) who seems to change styles each afternoon. Ryan soon meets Jennifer Burrows (Claire Forlani), a beautiful and very social young woman, whom he finds himself attracted to. But he knows he could never keep up with her and besides, her outlook is so much different than his. But the two do develop a strong friendship and spend a lot of time together, usually with Ryan cheering up Jennifer after another breakup. As Ryan watches her date all the wrong guys, he thinks he might be the right one, but when the two sleep together, it seems like that might not be true. Can their friendship survive this sexual ordeal, or will they end up leaving each other behind and wondering what might have been?
I like teen comedies a lot, no matter how cheesy or predictable they might be, which might be seen as a cinematic weakness. While Boys and Girls isn’t a teen comedy in the sense that it takes place in college, this film still has all the elements we’ve come to expect from the genre. Much like his last film, Down To You, Freddie Prinze, Jr. takes on the role of a college boy who falls into the trials and tribulations of romance. The actors seem to be relics of the teen comedy genre and the storyline is right from the genre standards, so unless you like those elements, this won’t be the picture for you. But me, I like teen flicks and as such, I found a lot to like with Boys and Girls. It isn’t one of the better examples by any means, but it does supply some laughs and memorable lines, which is enough for me in this case. Is it a fresh take on love? Of course not, but there are some nice moments and plenty of laughs, which is what counts in a film like this one. It isn’t a cinematic breakthrough or anything, but Boys and Girls is more than worth a rental if you’re a fan of the genre.
Freddie Prinze, Jr. is a staple of the teen genre, so it is nice to see him here, although his performance is his usual brand. This means light on acting, but natural within his role and always willing to whatever it takes to get some laughs. He plays a nerd in this film, which seems unusual given his reputation, but he doesn’t attempt to overdo things and that helps keep the character based in realism. As usual, he turns the charms on heavy and seems to have good chemistry with his fellow workers, both male and female. Prinze might not be in line for some Oscars anytime soon, but he is always adequate in films like Boys and Girls. Prinze can also be seen in such movies as She’s All That, The House Of Yes, Wing Commander, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Down To You. The cast here also includes Jason Biggs (American Pie, Loser), Amanda Detmer (Final Destination, Drop Dead Gorgeous), Alyson Hannigan (Dead Man On Campus, American Pie), Claire Forlani (Mallrats, Mystery Men), and Heather Donahue (The Blair Witch Project). The director of Boys and Girls is Robert Iscove, who helmed She’s All That and a wealth of television projects.
Video: How does it look?
Boys and Girls is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. I saw some minor compression flaws and a few nicks on the print, but this is still a very good overall presentation. The film’s rich colors surface in fine form here, with bold hues at all times and no traces of smears or bleeds to be seen. I also saw no evidence of problems with the flesh tones, which look normal and consistent. The black levels also seem to be top notch, as no detail is lost and contrast is well balanced throughout. It isn’t perfect, but it is way above average in all respects.
Audio: How does it sound?
As with films of this ilk, the hip soundtrack rocks, but the other elements pale in comparison. This is not a flaw with the mix though, it’s just that the music is the only audio element that really needs to use the surrounds to effective means. I heard a few instances of surround use in other sections, but nothing to write home about, I assure you. But it all seems in fine working order, which is what counts in the end, if you ask me. The main focus is the dialogue, which comes across in crisp form here and with no volume issues in the least. This disc also houses a French language track and Spanish & English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no bonus materials.