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Volume 71, Issue 61, Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Life & Arts

Moviegoers should just see 'Friends'

Reynolds stars in holiday hit about one man's dream 
to date his long-time friend

By Darrel A. Holnes
The Daily Cougar

This holiday season, there is a plethora of films offered at local theaters for everyone to enjoy. Seeing a film is never a sure thing as everyone has a different paradigm and sense of humor, so there is no telling what audiences might think after walking out of any film. 

However, coming this Thanksgiving, there is one thing that moviegoers can be sure of -- Just Friends is the comedy that is sure to have all audience members chuckling in their boots.

In the Thanksgiving release Just Friends, Chris (Ryan Reynolds), right, seems to always come up short when trying to win the heart of his friend and love interest, Jamie (Amy Smart).
Photo Courtesy of New Line Cinema

The starring role of Chris is beautifully and hilariously portrayed by Ryan Reynolds who is accompanied on the screen by the delightful Amy Smart who plays his love interest, Jamie. The film is really brought together by the cast of supporting actors. Chris Klein (American Pie), brilliantly plays Dusty, the antagonist of the film -- aka Chris's competition for Jamie's heart. 

Equally entertaining is Chris' little brother, Mike, played by Christopher Marquette (Joan of Arcadia). 

However, it is Anna Faris who really gives an outstanding performance as Samantha James, the impulsive, rambunctious pop star who is working with Reynolds' character when he is stranded in his hometown. 

Written by Adam "Tex" Davis and directed by Roger Kumble, the film opens with a hilarious sequence -- a flash back to a 1995 graduation party where Chris' love for Jamie is hysterically exposed, not the way he had delicately planned. 

After that night of embarrassment, an overweight Chris vows to return a changed man and show all of his ridiculers that he is someone special. 

In 2005, Chris returns as a fit, rich and successful music producer working with celebrities and entertainers of all sorts. 

He returns with fame, money and a name for himself and is convinced that he can finally win a night with the girl of his dreams. The journey is a comical adventure full of guitar solos, body hugging ice-hockey fights and "artist training." 

Reynolds officially makes himself the newest funnyman in Hollywood in a song sequence that is sure to become a regular reference in our society for at least the next decade. 

Singing to himself in the mirror, fat Chris of 1995, sings the 1994 All-4-One hit, "I Swear," so badly that he would be sure to become the next American Idol reject gone platinum, la William Hung. 

This film is spectacular and one that the whole family can enjoy. The characters are easy to connect with and there is never a dull moment. 

Each character is cast effectively as the film flows with just the right amount of chemistry. The only thing that this holiday film is missing is a little Christmas magic, but perhaps that is what makes it so special.

The film has only one easily noticeable flaw toward the end. For much more than a split-second, during a scene with Faris and Reynolds, one can see the boom microphone dip into the shot. Other than for this small error, the film is, at first glance, ostensibly flawless. 

This film is perfect for the whole family or just for two, either way. No matter what fans usually look for in a film, they should go to the theater and add sure delight to their holiday with Just Friends.

Just Friends

Rated: PG-13 for sexual conduct, including some dialogue.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris
Directed By: Roger Kumble
Verdict: Save some room this weekend for Just Friends.

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