Director: Gregory Poirier
Cast: Jerry O’Connell, Shannon Elizabeth, Jake Busey, Jaime Pressly, Horatio Sanz
MPAA Rating: (for strong sexual content including dialogue, and for language)
Running Time: 1:35
Release Date: 3/30/01
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Review by Mark Dujsik
If you’re curious about what happened to the guys from Animal House when they finally got out into the real world, Tomcats is a possible look. It’s not an optimistic or believable look, and it’s hardly an entertaining one. This view shows that they never did or will grow up, and they somehow were able to transport themselves to a fantasy world where they make good money and attractive women actually want them—maybe even enough to marry them. Tomcats follows in the tradition of gross-out comedies, which have become too prevalent in recent years. Its gags are rarely shocking or even more rarely funny, and there honestly aren’t many possibly shocking moments to completely qualify this as a gross-out comedy.
If I had to place Tomcats in a genre, I’d call it a yuppie sex comedy. Watching teenagers going through some of these situations seems normal; watching men in their late 20s going through them is obnoxiously abnormal. The plot is the stuff of yuppie sex comedies. Seven years ago, a group of friends made a bet to see who would be the last single man remaining among them. "Now" (as the title card states), another of their own has gotten married and only two remain. Michael Delaney (Jerry O’Connell) is a cartoonist who just lost $50,000 to a casino to impress a woman. He has a month to pay back the debt, and with about half a million dollars collected for the bet, this is probably his only chance. All he has to do get Kyle (Jake Busey) to marry "the one who got away" Natalie (Shannon Elizabeth), who has her own plans for the man who left her on a highway after her first time.
The movie suffers from two major fallacies. First, men do not reveal this much about their sex lives. Second, women would not fall for someone like Kyle. He’s the kind of blatantly hateful person that people purposely go out of their way not to interact with. Then there are awkward scenes like a drug-bust/relationship-discussion scene. There’s an odd subplot in which one of the guys suspects his wife of being a lesbian. Finally, there’s the money-gag—the gag that the movie holds as its most irreverent. This one plays under the assumption that cancer can only be made light of when the problem has been taken care of. Then, once that happens, a man can chase a removed testicle around the hospital until it ends up in the assorted chocolate box of David Ogden Stiers, who most will remember as Major Winchester on "M*A*S*H."
We could talk about how immature, misogynistic, and homophobic the movie is. We could talk about the irony of men so afraid of women that they lust over the masculine qualities of one woman. I could say the few laughs that are here are so slight and insignificant that they will be irrelevant and forgotten hours after watching it. Or I could correct myself and say the movie suffers from three major fallacies. The third being the thought that anyone would actually enjoy watching something like this.
Copyright © 2001 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.