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THREE TO TANGO ($25) is one of those movies that take place in that alternate reality Hollywood has created- a "never-never land" where everybody comes to accept a sliver of misconstrued information as gospel, without ever bothering bother to check the facts. This is a fine place to live if you are a movie or TV character, but in the real world the lawyers would be suing the pants off of everyone for fraud, slander, libel, misrepresentation and everything they could possibly think of. Fortunately, THREE TO TANGO is a harmless romantic comedy that doesn’t have an ounce of reality attached to it. THREE TO TANGO stars Matthew Perry as Oscar Novak, a partner in a struggling architectural firm whose company is in the running to design a building for a multimillionaire named Charles Newman (Dylan McDermott). During a presentation, Newman gets the mistaken impression that Oscar is gay because the firm’s other senior partner, Peter Steinberg (Oliver Platt), is of that persuasion.

Figuring he has Oscar over a barrel until his firm delivers their final presentation, the very married Newman asks Oscar to keep an eye on his mistress at a gallery where her work is being shown. Oscar really doesn’t want to spy on the millionaire’s mistress, however he agrees to do it because his firm needs the money and the prestige associated with winning an architectural contract from a mogul like Charles Newman. Circumstances conspire against Oscar’s spy mission, when he ends up face-to-face with Newman’s mistress, Amy Post (Neve Campbell), after saving one of her sculptures from being destroyed. Over the course of the evening the two have a series of misadventures, which ends with Oscar being completely smitten with Amy. However, Oscar’s plans to romance Amy are dashed when he is forced to play along with Newman’s mistaken assertions about his sexual preference.

Of course, Oscar’s gay business partner finds the situation both hilarious and something of a relief, since Oscar’s feeling for Amy won’t sabotage their business dealings with Newman. Nevertheless, as Oscar spends more time with Amy, it becomes increasingly difficult for him to keep the truth a secret, even though the entire city now thinks he is gay, due to his business dealings with Newman. As I stated above, THREE TO TANGO is nothing more than harmless romantic fun, with a couple of uncomfortable, yet genuinely hilarious moments. Personally, I liked the movie and found it to be the perfect flick to pop into the DVD player on a night you want to get "cozy" with your wife, girlfriend… or mistress. The cast of THREE TO TANGO also includes Cylk Cozart, John C. McGinley, Bob Balaban, Deborah Rush, Kelly Rowan, Rick Gomez, Patrick Van Horn and David Ramsey.

Warner Home Video has made THREE TO TANGO available on a two-sided DVD that offers both full screen version and a super looking 16:9 enhanced wide screen presentation. There is nothing wrong with the image quality of the full screen version, however the wide screen version has more cinematic framing (at 1.85:1), which will help remind one that they are watching a movie starring three television actors and not a brand new sitcom. The cinematography just smacks of "recent Hollywood movie," delivering a glossy image that is overflowing with sharpness and detail. Colors are wonderfully vibrant and perfectly reproduced, without any distortion or bleeding. Flesh tones are just about perfect, as is the picture’s black level. Shadow detail is very good- just as one would expect from Hollywood "A" product coming off of theatrical release. This well authored DVD doesn’t betray any signs of digital compression artifacts.

THREE TO TANGO features a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack that delivers a solid, but typical, comedy mix. There are very few overt directional effects in the movie because there isn’t any need for them. Dialogue reproduction is excellent, with everything being fully intelligible and the actor’s voices sounding very natural. Music reproduction is a standout, with the swing music being played during the opening and closing credits sounding quite marvelous. Additionally, I must mention that the music is the only sonic element that makes consistent use of the surround channels. There is, however, a rainstorm sequence in the film that does make rather effective use of the rears. There are relatively few instances where the low frequency channel does anything other than add a bit of kick to the music; fans of killer bass won’t find anything ground shaking here. A French 5.1 channel soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English and French subtitles.

The interactive menus contain a bit of music, but are otherwise quite basic. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features. A theatrical trailer, production notes, and director’s biography have been included as supplement and are accessible through the interactive menus.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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