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‘It Takes Three’ review: Formulaic rom-com tries but forgets most important part

You’ve heard it all before.

It Takes Three is a modern take on Cyrano de Bergerac. That sentence has been written countless times since the play was first preformed in the 19th century. This time around it is a teenage romantic comedy (yes, this has been done before also). Prom is coming up and Cy Berger (Jared Gilman) has given up on going. When social media star Chris Newton (David Gridley) asks Cy to get him a date with Roxy (Aurora Perrineau), a new opportunity arises. 

The premise is comfortably familiar, and as the film progresses, there will be little in the way of surprises for the audience. Without a new plot, this leaves it up to the characters of It Takes Three to ensure whether it is a success or not. This is where things become a little dicey. It Takes Three is decides to work with stereotypes and never provides much in the way of character development. For side characters, this is not a big deal; it becomes a problem when this also includes the main cast.

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The majority of them are flat lines without any peaks and valleys. All the audience is left with is the obvious. The popular guy who cannot impress the new girl who likes the oddly charming nerdy guy who is oblivious to what his female friends around him really want. The only tweak to the story is Cy has two moms – which speaks nothing to him as a character; it is just a fact in his life.

This is a shame since the film touches on so many important topics. The issues discussed  are as relevant today as when John Hughes was writing about them in the 1980s. Bullying, popularity, and self-esteem are a focus as they should be. Cy suffers from body dysmorphia and there are some well done scenes showcasing how he views himself. It Takes Three has a lot to say, it just does not have the people to say it.

For all its faults, It Takes Three ends up being a sweet movie. While the characters are not memorable, Perrineau and Mikey Madison do the best they can with the script. The film may not compare favorably to other adaptations of Cyrano de Bergerac, but it will live up to expectations. And when it comes to rom-coms, there is not much more the audience can ask.

It Takes Three is available on digital and on demand

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