Starring: Jerry O’Connell, Shannon Elizabeth, Jake Busey
Director: Gregory Poirier
Running Time: 95 mins
Tomcats is an American film about a man who, years after making a bet with his friends to remain the last person not to get married, tries to force his final competitor into marriage as he attempts to pay off a major debt.
Some films really don’t age well, and although we often think of dated movies as those from over half a century ago, you’ll be surprised to know that there are films just like Tomcats, made less than twenty years ago, that feel just as outdated. And yet, as ridiculous and idiotic as this film is, it’s a very easy-going and light-hearted watch, while its turn of the millennium style gives it a few charming quirks that you would never see nowadays.
You know the likes of American Pie and Not Another Teen Movie etc. Both of those movies, and a whole lot more of the late-90s/early-00s raunchy comedy hits, have always proved one of my most hated genres, which is why I was so surprised at just how much I enjoyed Tomcats.
That’s not to say that this is in any way an intelligent film; it uses as much toilet and gross-out humour as possible – not to mention the total lack of intelligent or interesting characters – but the strange thing about it is that it’s a lot more light-hearted and seemingly innocent about everything it does, and even though it may intend to be just as provocative as the likes of American Pie, it comes across as a very easy-going and simplistic movie, which is what makes it a really fun watch.
Now, if you’re of the sort that’s utterly appalled by casual sexism and laddish behaviour, then this film really isn’t one for you, as it goes about proceedings in such a manner that’s been completely discarded from Hollywood over the last few years.
However, while it’s not something that would be particularly acceptable now, there is a bizarre charm and comedy in just how dated it all feels, and that gives the movie somewhat of a unique likability that, while undoubtedly not for everyone, offers something a little different to what we’re used to nowadays.
Is it funny, though? Well, while I had a good bit of fun with Tomcats, I can’t say it’s the world’s greatest comedy. There are a couple of properly good laughs, but it’s that immensely lightweight atmosphere – furthered by a lack of swearing and explicit scenes that proved American Pie’s downfall – that makes it such an innocently entertaining throwaway watch.
Again, it’s not a film that everyone will take to, it’s not a particularly memorable film, and I can’t praise it for breaking down barriers of narrative ingenuity, given just how predictable so much of the story is, but it’s a very simplistic and easy-going watch at every momenet, with the added bonus of laughing at an era that seems so very outmoded already – even if it was only 2001, and that’s why I’m giving Tomcats a 7.0 overall.