The Third Wheel

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Luke Wilson as Stanley
Ben Affleck as Michael
Denise Richards as Diana Evans
Jay Lacopo as Phil
Matt Damon as Kevin
Neal Matarazzo as Neal
Mike Schwartz as Frank

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 87 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film originally came out in 2002 and was executive produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (who also have cameo roles).

Stan is absolutely love struck by his beautiful new co-worker Diana. He’s determined to ask her out, but it takes him over a year to work up the courage. Finally, at the urging of his friend Michael, he goes for it. Unexpectedly, Diana agrees to go out on a date with him.

As the rest of the office places bets on how the date will go, Stan makes plans for the perfect evening. Things start out awkwardly but Stan and Diana start hitting it off. Their evening goes horribly wrong, though, when Stan hits a homeless man named Phil with his car.

Phil seems like a nice guy, but he’s definitely not all there. Feeling guilty about hitting him, Stan pays him $200. He also decides to take Phil to the hospital, thus interrupting his perfect evening with Diana. When Phil hears just how smitten Stan is with Diana, he decides that he’s going to help Stan win her heart. Unfortunately, Phil’s help isn’t the kind that Stan wants or needs.

The Third Wheel is rated PG-13 for sexual content / dialogue and brief drug use.

The Movie:
I had never heard of The Third Wheel, and I certainly wasn’t interested in viewing it. The cover of the DVD made it look like a cheesy yuppie romantic comedy. Ben Affleck also looked particularly stupid on the cover. However, I ended up being pleasantly surprised by the film. It was funny, cute, and had an unexpected twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. All in all it was a fun movie to discover and a good date flick.

Luke Wilson plays the everyman Stanley. Wilson plays his typical movie character, but guys can still identify with him. He has a terrible crush on the beautiful girl, yet he’s terrified to even speak to her. His efforts to have the perfect evening with Diana are thwarted at every turn by Murphy’s Law and it provides a number of laughs. What makes it even more amusing is the fact that his problems are generally ones every guy encounters while dating. How do you keep the conversation going? How do you look interested without looking TOO interested? How do you dress for the date? Is it OK to hold hands or not? Wilson faces all these problems and it’s enjoyable to watch him squirm.

Writer Jay Lacopo plays Phil, the third wheel who tags along for the date. He’s determined to help Stan get the girl and ironically he inadvertantly does. His character starts out being an annoying distraction in the movie, but by the end you really like him. I can’t say more without runing the film, but you’ll see what I mean by the end. Lacopo also does a really funny musical number during the credits to the song “Bust A Move”.

Denise Richards’ role as Diana could have been played by any beautiful actress, but she ends up filling the role of untouchable goddess well. She doesn’t have a whole lot to do besides act as the object of Stan’s affection. Ben Affleck has a cameo as Stan’s friend Michael. Affleck goes way over the top during the movie and even a couple of times seems like he’s trying to hog the spotlight, but his presence is generally welcome. He helps provide laughs when there’s a long dry spell with the main stars. His bet along with all the other co-workers following Stan’s progress is pretty amusing. Matt Damon also has a brief cameo as Diana’s ex-boyfriend who shows up during the date. Their confrontation has an unexpected and hilarious resolution that had me laughing. I won’t spoil this one or you, either.

Overall, The Third Wheel is a fun romantic comedy that is worth checking out. I think the marketing makes this film look like something that it isn’t. It is also suprisingly clean which is something you don’t find in comedies like this these days.

The Extras:
There are no extras included on this DVD.

The Bottom Line:
The Third Wheel is worth at least a rental. Fans of Wilson, Richards, or Afflck should get a kick out of this one, too.

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