The following is my response to the 2002 film “The Guys,” which is based on a play of the same name written by Anne Nelson.
My experience with this film is similar to the majority of the reviews of the film—not that good. The film brings zero action to the table with characters that just sit around and cry (and an odd scene where Sigourney Weaver imagines herself dancing the Tango with Anthony LaPaglia—eh?). As a fan of Segourney Weaver, I am especially disappointed because I now how flexible of an actress she can be—from the chain-smoking scientist in “Avatar” to the witty spaceship assistant in “Galaxy Quest.” Her character in this film was so dry.
Though I will say that halfway into the film—if you can get that far, a feat I was undoubtedly forced to complete for I was watching the film in a classroom setting where there is a grade on participation—I did get a degree more involved with the characters.
The film is about a fire captain that who (Anthony LaPaglia), after 9/11, must give several eulogies at the funerals of some of the men that was working under him; Weaver helps him write the eulogies. Over time the detail that the captain gives Weaver helps to paint beautifully concrete images for the lives of those brave men. In a way you as a viewer have to make the connections yourself and imagine the scenes that the film are leaving out. I wondered while watching the film, if the screenplay would work better in a different genre—could it work as a lyrics essay? A lyrics essay, as defined by the Seneca Review, is “a fascinating sub-genre that straddles the essay and the lyric poem.” What I have learned throughout my college experience is that lyrics essays are the genre in which you get to bend the rules in such a way that the reader has to make the connections themselves.