Now, onto the 3-ways. Two of my favorite movies of the '90s, a decade that I spent indulging in hordes of cult movies and youth cinema, happen to both dip into alternative sexual relationships -- Gregg Araki's Splendor and Andrew Fleming's Threesome. What is so great about these films is that they are not stunning, pitch-perfect examples of cinema, but rather, awkward, flawed, and endearing glimpses into expanding sexuality. The characters fail to find one person who can fulfill all of their idiosyncratic desires, and come to realize that if they cannot merge two people, perhaps one person is not enough.
When Splendor came out in 1999, it was a bright, fun, and candy-coated surprise from Gregg Araki, the filmmaker who always knew how to deliver humor and romance, but always in a dark and disturbing package. With this story, Araki showed that he was more than f-bombs and Rose McGowan, and used his modern sensibility to revisit retro, pulpy romance. The story is simple -- Veronica has been suffering from a romantic dry spell when she meets two guys in the same night -- the light, carefree and sweet Zed, and the dark, pensive, and serious Abel. Thinking she'll date both and then choose, she quickly discovers that she wants them both, because each man has his own special appeal. Neither romantic choice wants to back down, so they decide to try an open-to-two relationship, which has its sexy perks, and its dramatic troubles.
It's dysfunctional, unlikely, and all sorts of fun. Casting Kathleen Robertson, Johnathan Schaech, and Matt Keeslar was step one. Adding an incredibly-vibrant and colorful world was step two. The final, finishing touch -- a great soundtrack that featured the likes of Everything But the Girl, My Bloody Valentine, and New Order. It's the sort of flick you can laugh with, swoon with, sing with, and just be goofy with.
Watch Kelly McDonald rant on the phone, dubbed-style.
A bottle of alcohol, a love triangle, and a game of Dare can only turn out one way.
Before Splendor, there was Rose, Traci, and Shannen as Valley Girls in Nowhere.
In Splendor, two straight guys bend a little for the love of the girl. In Threesome, things are more complicated: it's a true romantic triangle. Eddy and Stuart are roommates who get a big surprise when their adjoining dorm room is given to Alex. The college thinks she is a boy, but well, she's definitely a girl. Being young, away at school, and at the whim of raging hormones, things get awkward really fast. Alex wants Eddy. Eddy wants Stuart. Stuart wants Alex.
The trio bounces between friends, lovers, and foes as they try to figure out life and parse through their romantic lives. It's a bit hokey, but there's something irresistible about it -- especially Boyle's Alex. She's exuberant, full of sexual awkwardness and suffers the best erotic trigger to ever show up on the big screen -- language. She finds libraries very erotic, whimpers over big words, and is putty in your hands if you happen to say the word "concupiscence." It's also one of those films that will remind you of the wonderful and delightful old-school Stephen Baldwin, before the born-again makeover.
Stuart finally finds his "in" with Alex. -- Must confirm age to view.
Eddy keeps sneaking longing looks at Stuart.
Stuart gets a hand in the tub.