The story starts off very dramatically with David (Shawn Hatosy) lying on a gurney being wheeled down the hall of a hospital. There is a police detective right beside him trying to question him about what happened to him and where the others are. Then we start jumping around in time, finding out bits and pieces of the story. So that means you need to pay attention so you understand what’s going on.
David has recently started his senior year of college. He is rather serious and a bit lacking in confidence, especially with girls. His best (and possibly only) friend is Jenny (Rachael Leigh Cook). She is a photography student, is more free spirited and better at being spontaneous. They attend the same college, met each other during their junior year and have been friends ever since.
They live in apartments directly across from each other. In fact they can look out their window and see into the other’s apartment. Jenny dates a lot, but isn’t serious about any of them. She has a system set up with David. When she arrives outside her apartment, with a date, he will ring her home phone so she can say “I should get that” and then she can quickly head into her apartment. Thus leaving the guy standing outside and avoiding the inevitably awkward brush-off of undesirables. You can tell that David has a huge crush on her, but he seems afraid to do anything about it.
David talks Jenny into going to his family reunion with him. After they arrive he is surprised to find Alan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) there. Alan was his college roommate during freshman year; however, he didn’t do so well and ended up dropping out. Alan is gorgeous, charming, confident and very impulsive. Within minutes of seeing David and Jenny, he sweeps Jenny into his arms and starts dancing with her (very intimately, I might add).
Turns out, Alan is coming back to school. David doesn’t seem all that happy about the prospect. Especially after seeing Jenny’s reaction to him. However, he doesn’t say anything. He just sort of let’s things happen. David doesn’t even speak up when Alan tells him he won’t pursue Jenny if he doesn’t want him to.
Of course, Alan and Jenny do hook up. Which causes David to be jealous and refuse to have anything to do with them. What an idiot, he was given the chance to tell Alan to not go after her, doesn’t take it and is then upset with the results. Anyway, back to the story. Alan decides to take drastic measures to heal the rift between them. He kidnaps both David and Jenny, drives them out to an old abandoned mansion and pretty much forces them to make-up. Obviously things take an interesting turn after the make-up session otherwise this would be the end of the movie, which it isn’t.
I really like this movie. It’s suspenseful and there are interesting twists and turns throughout. The three main actors all do a good job with their respective roles. I will admit that I purchased this movie because it has Jonathan in it. His character definitely ended up being my favorite and he did a terrific job with it (although I’m always a little disappointed when he doesn’t get to use his Irish accent).
Some of my favorite scenes (without being too spoilery):
Alan dancing with David’s great aunt at the family reunion. You can tell he totally made her day.
The Twinkie scene. It shows Alan’s impulsiveness and confidence. To sit down next to a girl he hardly knows and then proceed to lick Twinkie crème filling off the side of her mouth.
When Jenny is using Alan as her photography subject for her class assignment. And it’s not just due to the fact that Jonathan is absolutely gorgeous in the scene (he really is extremely photogenic). It’s because the interaction between the two of them is so sweet. You start to see how they feel about each other and also see Alan showing a bit of vulnerability for the first time. I guess I should mention, for anyone that’s interested, you also get a couple of brief shots of full frontal nudity involving Jonathan.
Some of my favorite quotes:
Alan – “I gotta tell you, if it wasn’t for this guy, I would have bombed out first semester.”
David – “Mm-hmm. Instead, he bombed out second semester.”
Jenny – “Have you completely lost your mind?”
Alan – “Yes.”
Jenny – “You could have killed yourself.”
Alan – “Nah. I’m not destined to die in a car.”
Alan – “I believe in only two things … destiny and the beauty of the impulsive act.”
Alan – “Listen, I … I don’t say this stuff much, okay, so it’s gonna come out stupid. But sometimes when I’m around you, I can’t breathe. Like I’m afraid I’ll f*ck up the moment.”
Jenny – “Is that good or bad?”
Alan – “Good.”
Alan – “Yes, it is my @ss, and I figure this is how you see me for the time being, so I might as well be proud of it, accept it and show it off for the world to see. I mean, the people at Kinko’s were none too happy, but, hey, f*ck ‘em.”
Alan – “This is a place where a guy spent every buck he ever had trying to make peace after it was too late.”
Following is additional information about the show that contains spoilers. If you don’t want to be spoiled don’t read any further.
It was interesting to see the extremes that Alan went to in order to patch up David and Jenny’s friendship. I have to admit I was shocked when he cut open the palm of his hand. It seemed a bit radical, but I guess it worked.
It was scary how manipulative David was. He didn’t care how much he hurt anyone else, as long as he got what he wanted in the end. Which of course would be Jenny.