He Said, She Said
He Said, She Said is worth watching just for the sight of Sharon Stone as a leathered-up dominatrix. As Dan Hanson's (Kevin Bacon) "good friend" Linda as seen through the eyes of current squeeze Lorie Bryer (Elizabeth Perkins), that is Stone vamps it up with wicked glee, snapping her whip and cackling with delight while an intimidated Lorie looks on. Of course, from Dan's perspective, Linda is just a close pal, an ex he's managed to stay close to. It's all in how you look at it. That's the cutesy concept at the center of this flip, engaging battle-of-the-sexes romantic comedy, which is split down the middle into two halves: "his" and "hers." Opening on a distraught Lorie pegging Dan with a coffee mug during their op-ed television show, He Said, She Said proceeds to tell the story of their relationship and how it got to that rocky point. First we get his side, which not only sketches out the couple's basic opposites-attract history they're rival Baltimore reporters who meet while vying for a plum newspaper columnist job but also includes several male-centered takes on the situation. At their first dinner together, for example, commitment-phobic Dan imagines Lorie ordering from a menu on which every item is "marriage." And then there are the scenes with Stone: From Dan's perspective, Linda is an intelligent, sophisticated, classy woman. It's only later, during Lorie's half (which also fills in more details of the relationship), that we get to see Linda through her eyes, in full dominatrix mode. These little fantasy moments get some of the movie's biggest laughs; it's fun to see how different Dan's and Lorie's points of view are. But even without them, He Said, She Said is a sweet movie about a modern couple trying to figure out where their relationship is going. It's not exactly uncharted cinematic territory, but when it's done right, that doesn't matter. The 1991 film has aged well (except for all those typewriters in the newsroom...); the anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) on Paramount's DVD is clean and crisp, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is more than adequate for a romantic comedy (English 2.0, French stereo, and English subtitles are also available). In a nice surprise for a catalog release, the disc features a full-length audio commentary with directors Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver (Kwapis did the "he said" half, while Silver took on the "she said"), writer Brian Hohlfeld, and cinematographer Stephen H. Burum. The foursome's generally entertaining discussion of the film includes the story behind it real-life couple Kwapis and Silver told wildly different "how we met" stories while out to dinner with friends one night and some nice production stories and details. Keep-case.