on March 30, 2001 by Jon Alon Walz
   Fans of "American Pie" desperate to know how its juvenile, sex-obsessed characters might fare post-college need look no further than Hollywood's latest gross-out, "Tomcats."

   Armed with a jock-strap full of manic comedy bits seemingly pilfered from the reject pile of the brothers Zucker and Farrelly, writer/director Gregory Poirier steers his cast and crew into crude, zany quasi-comedy that many have tried to conquer but from which only a rare few have survived.

   A group of low-IQ friends are thrown into disarray upon reaching the age of consent--marital consent, that is. After losing one member of their group to wedlock, remaining bachelors Michael (Jerry O'Connell), Kyle (Jake Busey), Steve (Horatio Sanz) and the others drunkenly make a pact--and a sizable wager--to stay single and become sexually predatory "tomcats." The last man remaining stag wins the mutual fund into which the pledge cash will be invested.

   Several years pass, and it's now down to Michael and Kyle. Kyle's sexual exploits have become the stuff of (urban?) legend, while Michael scrapes by as a struggling cartoonist. A weekend in Las Vegas leaves Michael $51,000 in the hole and with a 30-day pay-or-die ultimatum from casino mob boss Carlos (played with much pizzazz by comedian Bill Maher).

   The solution for Michael is to find the only girl Kyle ever had real feelings for, Natalie (Shannon Elizabeth), and convince her to marry the louse within 30 days so he can collect on the tomcat mutual fund pool.

   Hijinx of every sort, shape and perversion ensue, mostly inane, but including an admittedly riotous five-minute chase scene thorough a hospital featuring Michael and one of Kyle's cancerous family jewels. All ends not quite so well for the testicle in the hospital cafeteria. And just a few short years ago, hair gel was the limit of questionable taste. Starring Jerry O'Connell, Jake Busey and Shannon Elizabeth. Directed and written by Gregory Poirier. Produced by Paul Kurta, Tony Ludwig and Alan Riche. A Columbia release. Comedy. Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, and for language. Running time: 95 min

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