Three To Tango

***1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie could snuggle into bed with Jessica Lange because he was supposed to be a woman. Matthew Perry does the same here with Neve Campbell because he's supposed to be gay.

Three To Tango follows the tradition of lightweight romance. It was ever so, even when Cary Grant was top of the pile. Fresh from Friends and The Whole Nine Yards, Perry has perfected a deer-in-headlights style that can be very funny.

He plays Oscar, partner in a shoestring architectural firm with Peter (Oliver Platt), an entrepreneur who double mortgages everything to keep them afloat. Peter is the talker, Oscar the thinker. Peter is gay, Oscar is not.

Together they win the chance to compete for the commission to redesign a ruined Chicago mansion as a modern art gallery. Charles (Dylan McDermott), the millionaire behind this philanthropic scheme, is having an affair with sculptress Amy (Campbell). Being vain and jealous of her admirers, he suggests to the hapless Oscar, whom he has decided is in a relationship with Peter and therefore immune to her charm, that he keeps an eye on Amy when he is away on business, or otherwise engaged in marital duties.

The limp wristed concept of gender blending that caused an upset in The Next Best Thing, drives Oscar to distraction. He can't blow his cover for fear of losing the contract and yet how can he win Amy's love if she thinks he's gay?

The film is neither as bland, nor as silly as you would suppose. Campbell has a smile that puts Helen of Troy to shame and Amy is an artist not averse to fisticuffs. Perry is a delight, which is the way it should be. His comic talents become more endearing with every double take.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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An architect falls for a woman who thinks he is gay.
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Director: Damon Santostefano

Writer: Rodney Patrick Vaccaro

Starring: Matthew Perry, Neve Campbell, Dylan McDermott, Oliver Platt

Year: 1999

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

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