By Matt Gabrielson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Sometimes a movie is so bad that seeing it is almost obligatory.
People who've already seen it talk about how bad it is, while others go see it, just to make sure.
Cases in point: Wayne's World; Spinal Tap; Rocky Horror Picture Show, etc.
Well, the new movie The Favor, starring Elizabeth McGovern, Brad Pitt, Ken Wahl and others, is not that kind of bad movie.
Woe to the few who pay to see The Favor, and woe to their wasted money. For this is the kind of bad movie even the dullest sots sleep through.
After being invited to her 15th high school reunion, mother/housewife Kathy (Harley Jane Kozak), begins having mid-life sex fantasies about her atavistic high school boyfriend, Tom (Ken Wahl).
But she won't act on those fantasies because of her vow to family values Ä even though her husband Peter (Bill Pullman) looks like Snoopy's Linus, only more annoying.
Instead of adultery, she asks her best friend, Emily (Elizabeth McGovern), to sleep with Tom and get back to her about how good it was (hence, the favor) Ä apparently Kathy didn't have sex with Tom back in high school, so she wants to know what she missed.
And somehow, Emily's artist boyfriend, Elliot (Brad Pitt), gets dragged into this fast-developing non-plot when Peter, the husband, believes Kathy is having an affair with Elliot.
Now Follow this: Elliot is in love with Emily. But Emily, who pretends not to love Elliot Ä though she secretly does Ä sleeps with Tom and tells Kathy everything. Kathy gets pissed off at Emily (who by the way had a great time in the sack). Emily gets pissed off at Elliot, for who knows what. And Kathy can't stop thinking of hopping in bed with Tom. Phew.
At the climax, Kathy goes to see Tom in Denver intending to do the adulterous "deed." Peter, thinking his wife is having an affair with Elliot, punches Elliot in the face twice. The miffed Elliot tells Peter where Kathy really is Ä at Tom's. And Peter goes there.
Emily, upon learning Peter is on his way to Tom's, tries to get there first to warn Kathy. And Elliot follows Emily Ä for who knows what reason.
That's basically the whole movie, aside from Emily's pregnancy Ä she doesn't know whether Tom or Elliot is the father Ä and a few other minor complications.
Of course, the ending is extra stupid. Everyone forgives everyone else of everything, and the big stud, Tom, turns out to be the big loser pig.
This movie belittles the complications of love, turning the serious into the preposterous. Everybody in the film wins in one way or another, and nobody seems to learn a thing Ä least of all the audience.
Brad Pitt is this movie's only strong point. He can act. He has proven that in movies like A River Runs Through It and Thelma and Louise. And, he is perhaps the only legitimate Hollywood male sex-symbol around today.
Regardless of Pitt, this movie is bad. On the bad scale it gets nine bads out of ten. Spending time in a stinky bathroom would probably be more rewarding.
The Favor opens tommorow at theaters around town. Read Next Article