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Erratic, predictable plot declaws `Tomcats'

Poirer's debut sprinkled with laughs, but it can't be saved from script

"Tomcats" samples the humor of "American Pie" but is nothing to meow about.

Gregory Poirer makes his directorial debut with the new movie "Tomcats," a romantic comedy he wrote about a group of friends who make a bet as to who will get married last.

The money the group bets is placed into the stock market so it will accumulate over time. Thus, the last man to get married will win a cool half million dollars. This poses the question of whether love is more valuable than money.

The movie seems promising with an incredibly funny wedding scene that starts the movie, and cartoon characters are used to introduce the main characters. Jerry O' Connell plays Michael Delaney, the film's protagonist who is a cartoonist.

At the introductory wedding scene, the remaining bachelors, or "tomcats," decide they will remain single, and to ensure this, they make the bet.

After the wager is made, the movie moves forward seven years to where Steve, played by Horatio Sanz, is the next to marry. Jaime Pressly plays Steve's fiancÇe, Trisha. Trisha's character adds a subplot to the movie because Steve constantly feels that she is cheating on him with other women.

Once Steve is married off, bachelors Delaney and Kyle Bremmer, played by Jake Busey, remain. During Steve's wedding, which is held in Las Vegas, Delaney blows more money than he has in an attempt to impress a girl he meets in the casino and runs up a $51,000 bill.

Unable to pay the casino, Delaney has an unenviable meeting with a mob boss named Carlos, played by Bill Mahr, and is given four weeks to come up with the cash. With all of his possessions gradually repossessed, Delaney devises a scheme to win the bet and thereby payoff Carlos.

He decides to find Natalie Parker, played by Elizabeth Shannon, a woman Bremmer may actually have loved after a fling in Malibu. But in finding Parker, Delaney is almost arrested and decides to be honest with her because she is a police officer. In his honesty, Delaney learns that Parker has a bone to pick with Bremmer, and she offers her services.

Naturally, Parker and Delaney team up, only to succumb to their own desires. It is here that romance begins to take the place of comedy, and neither Delaney nor Parker can admit that they like each other. Parker's role as a police officer also adds several humorous scenes to their romance.

Though the movie offered numerous funny scenes, the plot was too predictable and rather bizarre at times. Those familiar with Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" will see what I mean, and those who saw "Hannibal" and thought that eating a brain was bad should know that this movie gives new meaning to the term "cannibalism."

The previews for this film give an impression of "American Pie," but "Tomcats" is far less developed and all over the place at times.

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I would recommend this film to anyone who loved the humor of "Road Trip" and "American Pie," but those just looking for an all-around good movie should wait for this one to hit the dollar theaters. We'll have to wait and see if "Tomcats" will become a box office topcat based on comedy alone.

If you do go see this movie, make sure you stay to see the outtakes after the film because they're incredibly funny.

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