Plan B

on October 03, 1997 by Christine James
   This sardonic comedy about the disappointments of being an adult Gen-Xer is sometimes amusingly bizarre, occasionally clever but predominantly obvious and often flat. Different possible sources of angst and unfulfillment are demonstrated by a diverse group of friends who seem too fundamentally dissimilar to ever hang out together in real life. Jon Cryer turns in his usual funny but rote performance as the charmingly nebbish, sensitive, caustic geek, this time in the form of would-be novelist Stuart Winer; Mark Matheisen plays Stuart's egomaniacal roommate Ricky, an actor whose career highlight is portraying the Tidy Bowl Man; Lance Guest and Lisa Darr are a young couple frustrated by their failed attempts to have children; and Sara Mornell is Gina, a successful executive in the fashion industry who is individualistic and self-confident at work but conforms to the desires of her amour-of-the-minute in attempt to secure a relationship.
   Over the course of the film, all parties involved realize that the road they've chosen is going nowhere and ultimately they amend their dreams to forge a new path. The revelations entailed in this process vary from trite to humorous, the highlight being an exchange of sexual fantasies, particularly Gina's elaborate "Little House on the Prairie" scenario in which she is rescued, then ravished, by the strapping Almanzo.
   Glimpses of spot-on wit are leadened by sketchily-drawn characters, most of whom are introduced as fairly unappealing, a first impression that's difficult to overcome. Gina's too obnoxious, the couple too desperate, Ricky too self-centered, and Stuart too milquetoast to identify with or warm up to. For this well-intentioned release, Plan B is the video market, where it has the potential to do some business.    Starring Jon Cryer, Mark Matheisen, Lance Guest, Lisa Darr and Sara Mornell. Written and directed by Gary Leva. Produced by Nancy Joslin and Lulu Baskins-Leva. A Puny But Loud release. Comedy. 102 min.
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