Picks and Pans Review: Threesome

updated 04/18/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/18/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Lara Flynn Boyle, Josh Charles, Stephen Baldwin

Early on, when the narrator (Charles) proudly reflects on his days as a college-age "deviant" and then launches into a tale of two junior guys (Charles and Baldwin) being mistakenly assigned to share a dorm room with a beautiful female student (Boyle), this movie really looks like it's going to turn into something. Like maybe Porky's IV.

That doesn't happen, though, owing to some '90s-style complications. The three Generation Xers have barely un-packed their flannel shirts when Charles, the sensitive intellectual, discovers he has homosexual yearnings for Baldwin, the dim-witted jock. Boyle, meanwhile, has the hots for Charles, whom she believes to be simply confused about his predilections and ultimately susceptible to her charms. As for Baldwin, he hits on Boyle relentlessly while managing to bond platonically with the admiring Charles.

The three become such tight pals that they shut themselves off from the rest of the campus, preferring to spend most of their days staying home and seductively teasing each other. Writer-director Andrew Fleming effectively sets the wheel of sexual tension in motion—but promptly blows a flat when the characters actually start sleeping together. The second half of the movie is one long and tedious angst-fest with the three stars philosophizing like mad about relationships and love. In the end, Threesome suffers mightily from perhaps the one flaw Porky's lacked: delusions of importance. (R)

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