Threesome

Threesome



Threesome attempts to explore such aspects of humanity as sexuality, friendship and learning to cope with becoming an adult



Threesome


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Films that rely on the exploration of human emotions are extremely difficult to pull off. When the emotions being scrutinized are beyond what society considers normal the task is a very delicate one indeed. This film attempts to explore such aspects of humanity as sexuality, friendship and learning to cope with becoming an adult.

Threesome centers around three young college students that are thrown together by fate and a confused student housing authority. Josh Charles is Stuart, a rather meek young man unsure of even the most fundamental aspects of himself. He is paired with the wild and inhibited Eddy (Stephen Baldwin). He is the complete opposite of Stuart but of course, the two rapidly becomes friends. Add to this mix is Alex (Lara Flynn Boyle) due to her masculine name and a brain dead clerk in housing Alex is assigned to room with Stuart and Eddy. The beginnings of Threesome are natural enough, the early stages of friendship that often grown from seeds of animosity. Slowly (well not that slowly it’s only a 90 minutes movie) the three become fast and inseparable friends. To the outside world they are immediately defined in terms of a sexual relationship. The catch is initially sex is a main ara of confusion. Alex is attracted to Stuart, Eddy is attracted to Alex and Stuart is just plain sexually confused. He is not sure if he is hetro or homosexual. His two roommates try in vain to fix him up with both genders but it is not until later that he seems to decide upon bisexuality. Threesome is a bit unfocused, just like many remember college. Still, there is enough of a story arc to carry the film.

The acting is what sets Threesome apart from the late night exploitation film it could have become. Boyle shines with a talent that while not fully developed here will mature and develop later in her career. I find it interesting to see the early stages of such careers and how you can see the hints of devotion to their craft in the early works. There are many scenes in Threesome where Bolye adds dimensionally with her presence. Playing the perfect foil to Boyle is Baldwin. While considered by many to be the runt of the Baldwin acting litter he is excellent in roles like this where his task is to add a spark to the proceedings. Most of us have known this type in college, the party guy, the make out king. In many films this character is either unchanged or undergoes a drastic turn around. In Threesome, Baldwin plays it far subtler than his image would permit us to believe. The change is slow, creeping up on him. While there are catalytic moments you can just see the change as it happens. Charles is the pseudo narrator of Threesome. He plays Stuart as human clay being molded by influences around him. Often appearing as the lost puppy of the group he initially resists the pressures from his new friends, convincing himself that he is happy the way he is yet gradually discovering that there is a wide range of emotions to enjoy.

Andrew Fleming directs Threesome with the feel of a stage play. While there are various sets and a few location sets, most of the story unfolds in the little dormitory apartment. Fleming provides an interesting variation in the way he uses the camera. Most times the camera is a voyeur, giving the viewer an intimate look at the way these three lives enfold. Other times he pulls back and distances the audience with an almost clinical vantage point. There is one scene where the three are driving around and find a lake. Alex decides to go skinny-dipping and the boys soon follow. By pulling back the camera Felming gives a strange garden of Eden feel to the scene. He then pulls in to a more intimate framing and then finally pulls back again to see a group of school children watching the proceedings. It’s these little touches that keeps the pace of Threesome on track. There is a better than average commentary provided on the disc. Rather than a technical discussion that sounds like a lecture in a film class Fleming provides little details of the pre-production, filming and marketing of Threesome. For those interested in Flemings directorial style you can also check his now cult classic, The Craft.

Threesome is mastered in a manner that is becoming popular with smaller, independent films. The audio is a nicely balanced Dolby Surround. This holds together well considering most of the action takes place in a small room. The video is anamorphic 1.85:1 format. The original print was clean and no transfer or compression artifacts were detectable. There are also no real extras provided. A trailer and the commentary are about it. In all the bottom line here is an actor’s picture that displays a lot of talent although the story line is a bit on the light side.

Movie Review of Threesome by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com

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