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Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys
2006 - PG-13 - 83 Mins.
Director: Jeff Arch
Producer: Robert Schwartz and David Shor
Written By: Jeff Arch
Starring: Dave Barry, Lochlyn Munro, Christina Moore, Keith Hudson and Khalil Kain
Review by: Bill King
Official Site: www.guidetoguys.com/
   
If I ever need advice on any topic in the future, I will not be looking to Dave Barry for enlightenment. I see he's won a Pulitzer Prize for his newspaper articles, which is quite an accomplishment since the Pulitzer doesn't go to just anyone. I can only assume then that 'Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys' fails for one of two reasons. Either he doesn't know anything about guys, or the filmmakers screwed up when adapting Barry's book. The first explanation seems most likely, as Barry stars as himself and gives advice as if he believes what he's saying.

The film is structured similarly to 'An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn' (1997), which right there is indication that it was doomed from the start. There is no storyline, no plot, and no attempt to attract interest. Instead, it's a series of talking heads explaining the ups and downs of guys. The film traces guy behavior back to the Stone Age, when early man developed his tendencies, to which the women learned to respond by giving guys the "look."

At no point in this presentation is there anything slightly resembling true insight. This is nothing but a gag reel highlighting the boneheaded things guys do. It's designed to strike a nerve to anyone who can identify with its characters and their actions. Yeah, guys pay a lot of attention to sports and try to fix things they can't obviously fix, but pointing these things out for the benefit of our recognition doesn't constitute a guide.

The movie is set up like a quasi-documentary. The camera follows Dave around as he explains what makes guys tick. He delivers his lines in a way that he actually thinks he's doing us a favor. He and director Jeff Arch stage these clich├ęs with people who overact in every conceivable way, from dialogue to mannerisms. There's nothing genuine about their observations. Occasionally, we drop in on four women talking about guys to Dave Barry, but notice how they talk. Their lines were clearly written and therefore don't come from the heart. If the filmmakers wanted their project to benefit the viewers, then why not engage in real conversations? Doing so would have provided some legitimate food for thought.

Just to highlight what a terrible job the actors do, I want to describe a scene with Dan Marino. He plays a radio host talking to Dave about how guys avoid standing next to each other while using urinals. As a non-actor, Marino doesn't try to mug the camera with overacting. He just plays himself and seems to mean what he says. He talks normally. I suspect this is because Marino wasn't trying to "act" out the material, since he doesn't make a living doing that. Now compare his performance with those of the professional actors. Not one of them seems like a real person. They come across as if trying to put way too much personality in their roles. They overdo everything from speech to body language.

My disdain for this film stems from its truly incompetent assemblage. The movie even sees fit to include phony CGI effects (like burning rubble from an explosion) when none at all would have sufficed. 'Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys' is a monumental failure. I ought to film myself throwing this movie in the garbage can and call it 'The Complete Guide to Taking Out the Trash.'
 
Movie Guru Rating
Offensive and completely without value.  Should never have been released.
  0 out of 5 stars

 
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