It Takes Three (USA, 2021)

The classic tale of Cyrano de Bergerac gets a modern high school take in the vein of John Hughes in this pretty funny film.

Cy Berger is a hapless high school student who has gotten rejected by his crush when he asks her to prom. Devastated and humiliated when the reaction goes viral amongst his peers, Cy takes his frustrations out on the popular Chris Newton. Chris forgives Cy for his actions and when they end up in detention, Cy meets new girl Roxy. Taken an interest in her, he soon learns Chris is also crushing on her. However, as Roxy is an intellectual and Chris is more of a goofball, Chris hires Cy to help him woo Roxy.

As Chris starts a new life through Cy by impressing Roxy with his newfound intellect, things slowly become complicated. For Chris, his one-time antics and followers on social media slowly begin to drop as they seem him as lame and nerdy. As for Cy, he slowly begins to develop feelings for Roxy but can’t say anything because he would risk getting pummeled by Chris. On the night of the prom, everything is set to come to a head. However, what will fate have in store for Cy, Chris, and Roxy?

At first look at the plot and whatnot, one would think this is another mindless teen rom-com that nobody would care about. However, this has the look and feel of something a legend like John Hughes would make if he were still alive today. The script by Logan Burdick and Blair Mastbaum takes today’s world of social media as well as LGBTQ parenting (in the form of Cy’s two mothers, one going a bit overboard when talking about the birds and the bees), brings dialogue that Hughes would be proud of in today’s world. It also helps that the film is directed by a staple of 80’s teen cinema, Scott Coffey. Coffey brings that vision and having that connection with Hughes with 1987’s Some Kind of Wonderful, it’s clear that Hughes’ influence lies within Coffey on this film.

The film actually feels like a meshing of the classic tale of Cyrano de Bergerac and the aforementioned Some Kind of Wonderful. Jared Gilman is hilarious as the nerdy Cy, who after getting rejected in the film’s first seven minutes, has the desire to change his look much to the chagrin of his mothers and finds himself getting into these crazy situations. Then there’s David Gridley’s maniacal Chris Newton, who is at first glance, obsessed with karate and does these crazy poses to get an audience. He is a bit sympathetic to Cy after he realizes why he took his frustrations out on him and sees Cy as a means to change his image when he meets new girl Roxy, played by Aurora Perrineau.

Roxy is to Some Kind of Wonderful’s Amanda Jones as Mikey Madison’s Kat Walker is similar to Some Kind of Wonderful’s Watts. The former soon becomes the object of a crush for our protagonist Cy while Mikey is the long-time female friend who has had secret feelings for him but has always been afraid to tell him. When Cy gets shot down in the opening, Mikey becomes more of the shoulder he needs when compared to his mothers. The final act of the film, set in the prom, puts everything in motion and there is a bit of a shocking ending but not shocking to the 80’s teen movie fan as everything is put into perspective all with an excellent soundtrack that plays like an 80s style teen movie.

It Takes Three is a fun meshing of the classic Cyrano de Bergerac and Some Kind of Wonderful, or at least inspired by the latter. The cast is impressive here thanks in part to the Hughes-inspired dialogue and vision of the film.

WFG RATING: A-

A Gunpowder and Sky film. Director: Scott Coffey. Producers: Kevin Herrera, Chris Mangano, and Van Toffler. Writers: Logan Burdick and Blair Mastbaum. Cinematography: Nicole Hirsch Whitaker. Editing: Robin Gonsalves.

Cast: Jared Gilman, Aurora Perrineau, David Gridley, Mikey Madison, Monk Serrell Freed, Anya Marina, Lori Alan, Philil Labes, Jessica Lorez, Katie Baker.

The film comes to On Demand and Digital platforms on September 3 from Gunpowder and Sky.

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