We Can't Dance

A disappointing romantic comedy with a script that fails to click.

Oscar Novak (played by "Friends" star Matthew Perry) is hired by Forbes-featured, married millionaire Charles Newman (portrayed by "The Practice" star Dylan McDemott) to keep tabs on his girlfriend Amy Post, a funky, uninhibited, straight-talking artist at her show.

The reason he agrees to take on this ugly job is because Newman is considering Oscar Novak's architecture firm as one of the contenders that will design an important monument in Chicago, that is under his control. The contract if sealed, promises to be the big break that Novak and his business partner Peter Steinberg (played by Oliver Platt of recently released "Lake Pacid" fame) badly need.

Amy Post, clever as she is, finds out Novak's reason for following her around, but doesn't seem to mind, for she thinks, alongwith Newman and his secretary, that he is gay and therefore harmless.

One thing leads to another, and before he knows it, everybody is convinced Novak is gay - right from his school friends to his parents to strangers on the bus. This fact which would otherwise never have affected anybody does become a problem because Oscar is not really gay but straight. Next, newspapers start screaming headlines of his having some sort of moral and social obligation to assert himself as a gay professional. Then the Gay and Lesbian Association of Chicago bestow upon him the award of "Gay Man Of The Year". To add to the confusion, Post discovers she's in love with Novak, but can't act on her feelings since he's well, homosexual.

A lot of complications there - but being a romantic comedy, all's well that ends well.

As far as role-playing goes, Campbell, who depicts Amy Post is alive and arresting. The other key ingredients, namely Perry, whose antics and expressions of surprise at the unexpected turns his life takes, draw a tolerant smile from the viewers; Platt, whose benevolent, smart, desperate, slightly hyper personality is amusing; and Dylan McDermott, whose suave, sleek millionaire-isms create the right amount of disgust in us make this flick resemble a mild, watery, after-dinner drink that lacks that little extra kick that would have satisfactorily quenched our thirst.The much-needed chemistry between Campbell and Perry is non-existent.

The final verdict - on the whole, the film is rather predictable and insipid. But hey, if you like that kind of entertainment, go watch this one post-haste!

This article was first published on 12 Jun 2000.