Soundtrack Saturday: “Threesome”

Written by Film, Soundtrack Saturday

Hey, who’s up for a Threesome with Kelly Stitzel? No, no, not that kind of Threesome — get your mind out of the gutter. We’re talking about a trip back to 1994’s quirky rom-com, and another edition of Soundtrack Saturday.

I know I just wrote about a mid-’90s Gen X-centered tale a couple weeks ago, but I decided to do it again, just for kicks. I was inspired to write about Threesome (1994) for two reasons (not three). First, I recently decided to rewatch the excellent Aaron Sorkin comedy series Sports Night (1998-2000), which costars one of Threesome‘s stars, Josh Charles, who I used to have a big crush on back in high school. And second, our own Robert Cass and I recently had an e-mail conversation about Stephen Baldwin’s bad acting and douchey haircuts, though it started out being about something else entirely.

Even if you’ve never seen this movie, I bet you can figure out what it’s about. But I’ll give you a quick and dirty synopsis anyway. Horndog jock Stuart (Baldwin) and sensitive film major Eddy (Charles) are roommates in their college dorm. Their testosterone-filled living situation is thrown into chaos when a clerical error made by the college’s housing office places Alex (Lara Flynn Boyle) — a chick! — in the dorm as their third roommate. At first, the three don’t get along at all, but eventually they get to know each other and start hanging out all the time, chasing away anyone who tries to break into their little circle (or is it be a triangle?). Here’s the fun part: Alex is in love with Eddy, who’s in love with Stuart, who’s in love with Alex. Oh, the drama! I don’t want to spoil the film for you, but since the title pretty much does it anyway, the three eventually act upon their desires all at once and engage in a threesome. But instead of bringing them together, their little tryst only drives them apart — and scares the shit out of them.

Threesome is pretty mediocre, but it has its moments as well as a decent cast. I think Charles and Boyle do a fine job, but Baldwin is pretty terrible (of course, I don’t think Stuart was really meant to be played by a brilliant thespian). Speaking of Mr. Baldwin, I’m sure you know he’s a born-again Christian and staunch Republican, which, as you can probably guess, means he’s tried to distance himself from Threesome as much as possible. (If I were him, the thing I’d be most embarrassed about is the douchey haircut he’s sporting in it, but I digress …)

There are some funny scenes in this movie, especially those that involve “Front Desk Dick” (Alexis Arquette) and his pal Renay (Martha Gehman, whom you may know as Ophelia from The Legend of Billie Jean). And the nerds will notice that the guy who plays Alex’s smarmy date, Larry, is the same actor who played Mick in Teen Wolf (1985).

No matter the quality of the film, I do enjoy its soundtrack, which mixes B-sides, covers, and originals from some well-known pop and rock artists, including Tears for Fears, U2, Duran Duran, New Order, and Bryan Ferry. I bought the soundtrack album used many years ago, mostly for the Tears for Fears track, “New Star,” which I’d never heard before (it was originally a B-side to their 1993 single “Cold”), and for U2’s cover of “Dancing Barefoot” (a B-side to their ’89 single “When Love Comes to Town”). But I really enjoy the rest of the songs as well. I’m particularly fond of Human Sexual Response’s “What Does Sex Mean to Me?” mostly because the lyrics are absolutely hilarious. In addition to everything that appeared on the official soundtrack, I also rounded up the songs that didn’t make the official release, including one by Paul McCartney’s side project, the Fireman.

Tears for Fears – New Star
Apache Indian – Boom Shack-a-Lak
Jellyfish – He’s My Best Friend
The Fireman – Transpiritual Stomp
Duran Duran – Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)
U2 – Dancing Barefoot
Bryan Ferry – Is Your Love Strong Enough?
Human Sexual Response – What Does Sex Mean to Me?
Teenage Fanclub – Like a Virgin
The The – That Was the Day
General Public – I’ll Take You There
Jah Wobble’s Invasion of the Heart – Visions of You
New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
Brad – Buttercup
Curve – On the Wheel

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