Robert Iscove really has a niche. He directed my most pleasing of guilty pleasures, "From Justin to Kelly," as well as the 1999 "Kiss Me" klassic, "She's All That" (which really hasn't held up). In this little-known year 2000 sophomore effort, he combines his penchants for awkward meet-cutes, attracting opposites, and meticulously choreographed impromptu dance parties, and it all goes down smoother than a chicka-cherry cola.
The movie shares many familiar ingredients of its predecessor and other 90s teen classics: Freddie Prinze Jr. (this time as the Lainey Boggs-esque nebbish pantywaist, rocking the sk8terboi middle-part), Jason Biggs (as the frosted-tipped doofus), sweet-red Alyson Hannigan, and the requisite everybody-knows-what-they're-doing dance sequence, scored by none other than Fatboy Slim! Although "She's All That" is probably most remembered for that iconic scene, the one here calls for less suspension of disbelief. Jennifer knows the dance moves, and Ryan tries to keep up, more or less succeeding by the end. The club scene is more organically woven into the story than the perfect Prom breakdown.
The movie also starts out exactly like the more recent "No Strings Attached" (which probably borrowed from this) - Ryan and Jennifer meet several times over ten years - but unlike the puppets on strings that are the characters of NSA, R+J (heh) do more than navigate the aftermath of casual friend-sex; they navigate a real friendship complicated by the past, present, and future. The storyline isn't groundbreaking, but in comparison to all the movies "Boys and Girls" reminds me of, it has a stronger driving conflict.
Claire Forlani is way too old to play a college gal, but she is charismatic, charming, smoldering, delicately bony, breathy, and willowy and wounded as usual. She also rocks some great fashions - that weird hoodie sweater vest/cargo pants/Chucks combo AND that white backless top/wide-leg pants ensemble. Yowza.