Tomcats is one of the most stupid, puerile, anti-female, gross movies I have ever seen. It will probably make a fortune. From personal observation on a Saturday night, teenage boys love Tomcats. Enough said. Seven years ago, seven male friends vowed to avoid marriage, to prowl through the world of women like eternal “tomcats.” The one who kept the promise the longest would win a fortune from their group investment. Now they’re down to the final two hold-outs. In only 30 days, cute, lovable, prosperity-challenged Jerry O’Connell (TV’s Sliders) must pay $50,000 to the Vegas mob; he claims the buddy bet is the only way to keep his feet out of concrete. But rich, obnoxious Jake Busey (Enemy of the State), who changes bed partners more often than his underwear, is nowhere near getting married. Desperate, Jerry tracks down Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie), for whom Jake holds nostalgic fondness. Shannon has “matured” into a sharp-shooting, smooth-talking, techno-crime-stopping LAPD officer. She agrees to Jerry’s plot to trick Jake into marrying her so she can wreak revenge on Jake for his past sins against her. “I was hoping for love, ” Jerry comments on her marriage motives, “but hate will do just fine.” What follows are lots of plot complications, gratuitous pratfalls, drunken bachelor parties, a librarian-Grandma sadism duo, wives who are lesbian lovers — OK, you get it — the filmmakers, led no doubt by screenwriter Gregory Poirer (See Spot Run) making his directorial debut, must have sat around the concept table, purring to themselves: “Okay guys, let’s dredge up all our crassest adolescent sex fantasies and cram them into one movie! Yeah, dudes!” To their credit, they did come up with one hilarious adventure in a hospital, involving the escapade of an amputated item of Jake’s anatomy, which really does take the cake — or should I say, the nut — for the sickest comedy routine of all time. Equally repulsive, but not funny at all, is the scene in which Shannon shares the secrets of her love life with her cop partner, while she blithely shoots and kills an entire house full of anonymous bad guys. Hey, this is a comedy, folks: A cute white police woman can kill as many faceless men of color as she wants if she’s thinking dirty while she does it. Sigh. Oh, yeah — a happy ending, of course. What saves this movie from the absolute bottom of the heap are some fleeting moments which prove actors are usually above the material they’re given. Jerry O’Connell is truly adorable and Shannon Elizabeth is lovely to look at. The big stand-out is Jake Busey, who combines mimicry of his talented father’s (Gary Busey) reckless energy with a mesmerizing self-mocking grin. If he can escape from turkeys like Tomcats, Busey will be stardom-bound.
– reviewed by Marci Miller