Three to Tango

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

In recent years, being gay has taken on a different meaning. With mainstream celebrities like Ellen Degeneres and Anne Heche to Rupert Everett and Ian McKellan, being homosexual is almost becoming “mainstream”. In the likes of movies like “In and Out” and “Gods and Monsters”, gay characters aren’t portrayed as stereotypical as they were even ten years ago…so it came as quite a shock to me when I popped in “Three to Tango”. I expected this movie to be yet another romantic comedy that we see more and more of each year, but Three to Tango, with it’s almost excluive cast of Television stars as leads, surprised me and I have to say that I really, really liked it. It also deals with a cast of mistaken identity, as Oscar (Matthew Perry) has to deal with being viewed as a homosexual even though he’s not.

Three to Tango starts right up and let’s us know who’s boss…Charles (Dylan McDermott)! Charles plays a very successful Chicago business tycoon who is in charge of picking an architecture firm to redesign a local historic building. It’s down to two different firms and as luck would have it, one is comprised of Oscar Novak and Peter Steinberg (Oliver Platt). Definitely the underdogs here, Charles decides to have the two compete and the winner will be awarded the contract. However, unknowingly to Oscar and Peter, Charles finds out through the (wrong) grapevine that Oscar is gay. Being the sly devil he is, Charles sees Oscar as no threat to his mistress, Amy Post (Neve Campbell) and asks him to follow her around to see if she’s cheating on him. After a night that both will never forget, basically getting the tar beat out of him and eating a tuna melt sandwich that disagreed with them, Amy and Oscar make a connection. It’s the next day that Charles unloads the bomb to Amy and tells her that Oscar is gay.

Of course this is all news to Oscar, who spends most of the movie not admitting his heterosexuality, because it’s getting him professional attention and their shot of getting the $90 million dollar architecture deal is going way up… Through a series of bad experiences, Oscar finally knows what he has to do to make himself happy…admit the truth. But how do you admit that you’re not gay when the Chicago Gay and Lesbian society has named you “Gay Professional of the Year”?

Three to Tango is one of those rare exceptions to the mainstream romantic comedy that has all the right elements to make it work. And in this case it does. I found myself laughing (very hard) at some scenes and it was such a nice surprise to watch a movie that I didn’t know what to expect. The cast does make it work, though. Perry is basically doing his ‘Friends’ character in yet another movie, but he pulls it off in this one. The always great Oliver Platt plays a great yin to Oscar’s yang and McDermott and Campbell play their parts very well, too. Overall, take a look at Three to Tango and you just might find yourself laughing…just like me.

Video: How does it look?

Though it happens less and less these days, Warner has given us both the full screen and anamorphic versions of the movie on one disc. The 1.85:1 image looks very good. Sharp, bright colors and a very good black level make this a great transfer. Of course, being a new movie, the transfer should be better than any catalog title. The full screen version is also very sharp as well, and if that’s your thing, you’re not really missing a whole lot off the image. I’d personally go for the widescreen, but either way is fine with this one.

Audio: How does it sound?

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack sounded surprisingly good. The main sequence has a jazzy soundtrack that sounded great as it poured out from all five channels. In much of the sense of “Swingers”, this soundtrack also takes advantage of the genre that’s become so popular in the last few years. I have to say that I got a bit more than I expected…Dialogue also sounds great. Nothing really to complain about, though not reference quality, a very solid soundtrack.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Basically a “standard Warner”, which isn’t all that bad. Along with a widescreen and full screen version of the film, there are some nice animated menus and very comprehensive cast bios and production notes. It should be noted, however, that the only selectable cast bio is that of the director…kind of strange, but hey…

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