Back Add a Comment Share:
You know you’re in a bit of trouble when even the International Movie Database hasn’t updated the status of the film you are watching. Another title that has seemingly been lost in the jungle of straight-to-video releases, 100 Women (a.k.a Girl Fever in the States) follows up from Director Michael Davis’ first half-decent flick, 100 Girls. Whilst not strictly a sequel, the film follows basically the same formula as its predecessor, not surprising since Davis is at the directing and writing helm once again. But can you get value for money from this relatively unknown title?

Movie

Sam is described as a “universal underdog”, one who is plodding his way through art school even though his drawing skills are very far left of centre. His penchant for women takes him to some weird and wonderful places at times but no one stole his heart like a girl named Hope. When Sam loses his drawings in a miraculous gust of wind, the radiant Hope steps in to give him back his smile. Cue the instant attraction. But in true unoriginal, uninspired style poor old Sam loses her number (which he wrote on his hand) in an even more miraculous and completely spontaneous rain shower. Shock horror!

Sam is then determined to find this girl whom he fell for so damn quickly, taking a job as a take-away delivery boy in the hope (pardon the pun) that he would find his lost love the instant she had a craving for junk food. And lo and behold, he finds her! But something is wrong with Hope, now looking more like a cat in the rain rather than the extremely attractive young lady from before. And our pal Sam, being the sensitive kooky guy we are all supposed to love, is eager to find out why this girl is so down.

Hope with a smile

That’s the basic plotline, which admittedly doesn’t sound at all interesting nor original. Even the addition of a try-hard sinister side to the plot doesn’t do the flick much good. Another girl among the hundred, however, does make a bit of an impact. A girl named Annie lives in the same building as Hope and thus witnesses Sam on his many vigils in front of Hope’s apartment door. They soon strike up a friendship thanks to Sam’s pen piercing her “aqua-bra” and become very close after a while. In a final twist there are some things that Sam isn’t quite privy to, which, once he finds out, lead to some serious decisions to be made on behalf of our hormonal buddy.

The main problem with the film, besides the fact that it is just a rehash of many low-budget love/comedy stories that have gone before it, is that there is way too much in the way of gross-out humour for a film that is attempting to be romantic. Most of it comes from Sam’s buddy, Holden, a porno-obsessed, disgusting young man who ruins every single scene he is in. Just skip past his every appearance because it is neither funny nor important to the story. Even more inappropriate attempts at making the audience squirm follow thanks to a cameo by the “slinky” guy from Tango & Cash. Don’t bother watching this crap either because again these scenes will tarnish the very few quality pieces of the film that remain.

What does work is the innocent nature of Sam and his quest to be a true friend to the sorrowful Hope. The rapport between Chad Donella and Erinn Bartlett is quite good, with Bartlett proving she’s more than just a pretty face. The character of Annie, played by Jennifer Morrison, is a welcome addition to a story which was lagging a little until she started appearing more often. Another decent performance from limited (and totally uninspired) material. While none of them are all that spectacular together they help to bring out the best in the small love story that underlies the attempts at humour. The theme of Sam’s drawings is weaved loosely into the plot and works quite well so it’s a shame the whole story didn’t revolve around him and his struggling love life instead of going for the lowest common denominator.

Going in with low expectations I was surprised that I actually enjoyed this film in parts. Take away the gross-out humour attempts and the innuendo and you’ve got yourself a very tiny but interesting romantic adventure. Even the most lazy of audience members will pick the gigantic plot holes in the story that seem to jump out and say “look at me, I’m not quite right!”. Sam and Hope immediately get along like they’ve known each other for years when all she does is hand the guy a piece of paper. And what’s with Sam getting all down about his drawings? He is frustrated when told his life drawing skills are pathetic, declaring that his pictures are nothing more than exaggerated portraits. Hello? Does the word cartoonist mean anything to you?

There are some enjoyable moments in this story and the ending is just trite enough to satisfy the romance fans as well as those who just want to steer well clear of Holden and his antics. The Ally McBeal-style flashbacks used throughout the story are the best bits of comedy in the film and the eye-candy provided by Bartlett, Morrison and the 98 other girls cannot be ignored. Rest assured you’ll find a little bit of fun in this story. It’s just a shame you have to wade through all the smut to get there.

Annie and her "aqua-bra"

Video

The film is presented in 4x3 Full Frame and I’m not entirely sure whether it was actually shot for television audiences only. Even the IMDB doesn’t list much in the way of details so it’s hard to figure out whether there was ever a widescreen version around at all. It does look as though there has been some panning and scanning done along the way so I would have to lean towards that disappointing result.

The image on the whole, despite the fact we are only given a portion of the whole picture, looks reasonably good. Colours are vibrant and stand out in a visually attractive film such as this one (there’s 100 women, how could it not be visually attractive?). The print exhibits quite a few imperfections here and there which are only minorly distracting. The image looks a little soft and the night scenes aren’t exactly spot on in terms of shadows but this transfer, forgetting the awful Pan & Scan ordeal, is a bit above average. Huge shame about the lack of a widescreen image though.

Audio

In one of the biggest shocks in the history of DVD, this disc comes with not one, not two, but three soundtracks. Yep, there’s a DTS track thrown in for good measure! There’s also a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and a 2.0 mix to boot. The DTS and Dolby 5.1 sound practically the same, which isn’t all that remarkable. The main feature is the music which pumps out over many scenes throughout the movie but there aren’t all that many decent tracks which is quite a shame. Surround use is pretty minimal as this is predominantly a dialogue driven movie, so on the whole the audio is pretty uneventful despite being treated to a DTS mix. Crazy.

Extras

No surprises here. There is the theatrical trailer and an awesome special feature called “scene selections”. Brilliant! All stops have been pulled out for this one, though I doubt there would be any material around to throw on the disc. Ho hum.

Sam's green eggs and ham

Overall

Get through all the crappy sexual humour and the lame attempts at being downright disgusting and you’ve got yourself an easy-to-watch, lighthearted romantic comedy. Sam seemed to be more of a kook than kooky at first but he soon became quite likable in his quest for love. There is genuine interest raised about what really happened to Hope which keeps you at least half concentrating on the screen throughout the movie. Chuck in Annie, some more beautiful women, some gratuitous nudity and a pretty coy ending and you’ve got yourself a none-too-surprising flick that’ll still give you a bit of fun along the way. A full frame video transfer, the bizarre inclusion of a DTS track and a practically bare-bones extras department prove that this flick and DVD are pretty much a mixed bag.


Links: