Could it BE more Chandler? Once again, Matthew Perry (Friends) takes his goofy character from Friends with him to the big screen in The Whole Nine Yards (Warner Bros.).
While Perry is clumsily charming as Nicholas Oz Oseransky, a dentist living in a suburb of Montreal, his performance leaves you wondering if he can break out of Chandler mode. But even if he can’t, that is the least of the film’s problems.
Jimmy the Tulip Tudeski (Bruce Willis, The Sixth Sense) moves in next door to Oz to hide out from a Chicago crime family. The only thing the two have in common is that someone is trying to kill them both. By the end of the film, the audience also wants to kill them. But the odd couple must work together if either of them wants to live.
After seeing The Whole Nine Yards, you have to question Willis’ selection of scripts. His credits include Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense and now a flop. With this film, he goes back to the Willis who appeared in The Jackal, The Fifth Element and Look Who’s Talking. Willis could have done this part in his sleep and very well may have. His performance gives the supporting cast very little with which to work.
But Willis’ performance can’t be used as a scapegoat for everyone else in the film. The two leading female characters, Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge, Species) and Jill (Amanda Peet, Isn’t She Great), have no chemistry. There isn’t even a spark. They easily could have been thrown into the film for their pretty faces and blinding white teeth. As Frankie Figgs, Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile) makes a strong attempt to carry the production. With those muscles you’d think he could, but he can’t.
Despite a stellar cast, The Whole Nine Yards fails to do much of anything. You can sit at home and watch Perry as Chandler for free, so why go to the movies and pay? And besides, there isn’t much to see in The Whole Nine Yards anyway.
The Whole Nine Yards is playing in theaters.
This article appeared in the February 22, 2000 issue of the Hatchet.