Woah, I feel like I was ready for Down to You and got a college version of She’s All That… having trouble parsing through that sentence? Well congrats, your brain hasn’t (yet) been diseased by years and decades of bad movies. What I mean is that in Down to You Freddie Prinze Jr. is kinda a lame macho bro with a friend who makes pornos and that’s like 90% of what I remember about the film. It’s kind of offensive trash that speaks ill of humanity as a whole and is asking questions that (I hope) the majority of people aren’t asking themselves about love. And yet, despite the presence of Jason Biggs, Boys and Girls is a very sweet and innocuous take on a college romance between two people that seem to get along great together despite their differences. Sound familiar? She’s All That is a good film with a similar premise. Thus, She’s All That:Down to You::Saved by the Bell:Saved by the Bell: The College Years.
I think that’s an apt comparison as She’s All That is genuinely good and I wish they made 100 She’s All That’s so that I could have more of them to watch. Down to You… well, much like Zack Morris and A.C. Slater going to college, it was more about need than perhaps good sense. They needed to make another Freddie Prinze Jr. movie and so they did. But there is a reason it’s forgotten to the sands of time. Inoffensive fluff. Just to recap, FPJ is a giant nerd. Claire Forlani, not as much. But fate seems to keep bringing them together throughout their lives and so it’s no surprise that at Berkeley they actually become BFFFs. Purely platonic, people. Nothing to see here except a couple of the hottest people on earth definitely not making out in college. For sure. Anyways, one night in the midst of personal turmoil they finally hook up. FPJ is over the moon. Forlani, wellllll… and that pretty much ruins EVERYTHING. Flash forward to the end of school and Forlani is off to Italy. Or is she? Because she decides she is in love after all (awww) and she chases after FPJ and they smooch for days.
The funniest aspect of the film is reading about Freddie Prinze Jr. and how he wanted to play the character cause it kind of flipped the script on what he had been doing up to that point. Instead of playing the jock golden boy he got the chance to go a little awkward as a nerd alert central. Why is this funny? First of all, he basically abandons the nerd schtick about 15 minutes into the film. When all your acting chops come from your natural jock golden boy charm it’s a little hard to turn it around. Boy does he seem to look in the mirror halfway through and decide the golden boy jock isn’t so bad after all. Second, what does he turn around and do the very next year? Summer Catch. Hah! Spread your wings and fly, my golden boy jock! Fly!
To finish up with a Hot Take Clam Bake, I usually like to ponder the underlying relationship at the end of the film and gosh darn it, I think these kids are gonna make it. Oh no, not FPJ and Forlani, I mean Jason Biggs and Amanda Detmer. In a classic Rom Com BFF swap, the kooky friends of the main characters end up hooking up too. Sure they are both crazy, but I think they might be the right type of crazy to lead to a spicy, unpredictable marriage that is built to last. Flash forward ten years and it’s Biggs giving FBJ love life advice to help keep his marriage on track. Do I really think that? Not really, I mean Jason Biggs’ character openly espoused some pretty heinous opinions about the elderly, so it probably lasts a year tops just from that angle. Hot Take Temperature: Smoldering Coals. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Boys and Girls? More like Annoys and Hurls! Amirite? Remember the year 2000, when gas was 25 cents, living was easy, and Freddie Prinze Jr. was a star? Those were the days. Let’s go!
- Wait a tick … do I like this film? Am I getting old or something? Because I feel like I kind of like a lot of films recently. Hot take though: Dimension Films was a good production company, so while they made a lot of stinkers over the years (probably from meddling by the Weinsteins by all accounts) their stinkers are often not all that bad and at least somewhat entertaining. Just a thought.
- Freddie Prinze Jr. is a bad actor, but he’s also very charming. It is just amazing to me that he got away without really trying to elevate or modify his style basically at all for a decade. Seems nice though.
- I’m convinced that the director screwed up Claire Forlani’s performance. I think she must have gotten some weird direction on acting somewhat spacey, but it falls very flat and comes off as mostly strange. She is intriguing though, and at times great in this film.
- The only actually good thing in the film is Jason Biggs. Genuinely funny. Particularly a moment where Freddy Prinze Jr. tells him to just be honest with women and to be himself and love will come to him. So at dinner he ends up going on a big diatribe about how the elderly suck society dry and should, effectively, be killed for the greater good (and their licenses should be taken away as well). And then he’s like “you told me to be honest.” Really funny.
- But the film is mostly just something you’ve likely seen elsewhere and better and the leads don’t necessarily have the best chemistry compared to some of their rivals.
- Although it does have a unique factor in that the leads explicitly dislike each other for about half the film. They are friendly, but think that the other just doesn’t see eye to eye with how they think of the big L-O-V-E. And they seem mostly okay with that.
- Probably the best Product Placement (What?) in the film is the inexplicable Slush Puppy cup Forlani is drinking out of at one point during the film. Do you think they paid for that? What a strange thing. Setting as a Character (Where?) for Berkeley and San Francisco in general. I think the film is closest to Good.
Obviously you can read about my sequel Men & Women in the Quiz. Cheerios,