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Monday, August 13, 2007:
"Monkey Love" - review (2002)
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Amy is stuck in a rut, still living with her parents while attending community college. She decides that one of the first steps in breaking free of this slump is to get rid of her two slacker male friends... by sleeping with them. As one responds by wanting more, the other's skepticism keeps him away. Feelings get complicated on all fronts as a result of the friends-mixed-with-sex chaos.
To spice up her ho-hum life, stuck-in-a-rut college senior Amy (Amy Stewart) sleeps with Aaron Séamus Dever) and Dil (Jeremy Renner), her two best pals since the 3rd grade. Unfortunately, her best-laid plans for more excitement turn their perfect, if predictable, platonic triangle into a tangled web of super-charged emotions with hilarious consequences. Packed with laughter, a sensational cast (including Deadwood's William Sanderson) and outrageous situations, Monkey Love is a miracle of a the great American tradition of the Screwball Comedy!" (Seattle International Film Festival)

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I've wanted to see this movie since I saw "S.W.A.T." a few years ago and discovered Jeremy Renner (and as an added bonus, you've also got LL Cool J and Samuel L. Jackson to heat up your screen). Jeremy played a selfish jerk, a total bad guy character I found rather much more interesting than Colin Farrell, who actually wasn't bad in this film (way better than "Phone Booth" anyway), I just thought Renner was more fun to watch.

But I digress cuz the movie I'm talking about now is "Monkey Love", starring Jeremy, pre-"S.W.A.T." Basically, it revolves around 22-year-old Amy (Amy Stewart), who feels like she's stuck in a rut and needs to do something to make a change. She tries dating a college professor but finds that being with an older man is not always as exciting as she thought it would be, so she ends that debacle. Then she comes up with the idea of getting rid of her closest friends, Dil and Aaron - because they are obviously the ones holding her back - and making a complete change. The only way, or at least the easiest way, she can think of doing that is by sleeping with them, which will ruin their friendship forever when things inevitably don't work out. Possibly skewered logic, but this is the path Amy decides to take.

Well as you can imagine, guys being typical guys, they sure as hell are not going to say "no" to such an opportunity, because not only is Amy a woman, she's also pretty hot. First up is dark-haired, adorably nervous Aaron (Seamus Dever), who refuses to go to college and quits his job as assistant manager at a burger joint. He doesn't have a lot of sexual experience, but is more than willing to learn with Amy. Even though Dil is one of his best friends, he doesn't tell him about sleeping with Amy, but he sure knows he want it to happen again. And again.
After Amy's less than stellar experience with Aaron, she's still determined to carry out her plan to change her life, and brings the idea of sex up to her other best friend Dill (Jeremy Renner). Dil lives in his own apartment, he's a mechanic, and wants Aaron to go to college. He's a bit shell-shocked by Amy's proposal, but again, he also doesn't need much convincing to sleep with her, figuring he'd regret it if he didn't. But afterwards he doesn't want it to happen again, and tells Amy he only wants to be friends.

Not getting the results she'd been hoping for leads Amy to search for deeper meaning, and she comes across Mishnu, who teaches yoga and has taken both a vow of silence and celibacy. But he too, only ends up disappointing her when he turns out to be something he's not. Now she's left with no friends, strange and distant parents who spend their time sitting in their living room reading the newspaper and listening to opera, and not much hope about her future. Instead she misses her best friends terribly, but figures she pretty much ruined that for good with the whole sex thing. Yet that's the amazing thing about best friends; it's not that easy to lose them, because they still love you anyway.

Did I like this movie? Um, yes, parts of it I did. (Update: I liked it more the 2nd time around - yeah, I had to re-watch it for the sex scenes *g*). I thought Amy was mostly superficial and cold at times, willing to lose two of the people who cared about her most, but once she did, she grew up, and became mature and likable, and that's when she found what she was actually looking for. Aaron and Dil changed too, and their friendship became stronger some of the things that have been holding them back. At times, the movie was campy stupid, silly, and juvenile, but then there were other parts that were poignant, and sweet, and funny. And my boy Jeremy did not disappoint, imho.
Would I recommend it? Well, I'll leave that up to you do to decide: Here are some scenes from the move. You figure it out.

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  1. I LOVE S.W.A.T!!!! I'm a sucker for action movies. I should post about that. Mehehe.

  2. I posted the Dark Hunter list on my blog in a comment, Stace.

  3. Mailyn, wasn't S.W.A.T. just a fun action movie. Loved it.

    Kel, thanx! That helps a lot :)

  4. I haven't seen SWAT or Monkey Love. And I've never heard of Jeremy. I must improve myself :)

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