Arts & Entertainment

Album Reviews

Rod Stewart “”Human”” Atlantic C :: Rod Stewart has always successfully adapted his music to fit current music trends for more than two decades. Once again, Stewart tries to update his vocal talents with his latest release, a pedestrian album “”Human,”” which blends rock ballads with a mix of R&B, soul and Motown. With his name fading, Stewart has nothing to lose by changing his music once again. He made the change from rock to pop, but this time his attempt is not as successful. From the first track, it becomes clear that the album is rough. Rob Dickins, an R&B and pop producer, worked with Stewart on his latest attempt to change his style. Dickins is best remembered for Cher’s “”Believe.”” It may have worked for Cher, but Stewart is not as good at combining his rock ballads and new music. Unlike Stewart’s previous albums, “”Human”” does not achieve this blend successfully and has a hard time matching his raspy voice to the R&B sound. It’s not an awful album; it’s decent, but there are no memorable songs. The last track, “”I Can’t Deny It,”” has a pleasant and mellow tone that makes it the most commercial and upbeat song on the album, but it cannot compare to “”Maggie May”” or any of his earlier works. On the other hand, Stewart’s music is smooth, warm and polished, showing that his style has aged gracefully. As a result, the slower ballads are much better than the other R&B-tinged songs. Stewart has shown that he is a versatile singer who is able to keep up with the current trends, but he is starting to show his age. — Charlie Tran Idlewild “”100 Broken Windows”” Odeon/Capitol B :: Idlewild are the best band you have never heard of. Idlewild are the quiet place in the novel “”Anne of Green Gables,”” but they are anything but quiet. These lads from Edinburgh made the mistake of putting together a punk rock group at the height of Britpop in 1995. While groups such as Oasis and Suede were making a splash in the British and American music scenes, Idlewild were left on the side. But now the wail of their Nirvana-esque guitars and their Pavement-like wit have finally made heads turn. Although they say they are influenced most by American indie-rock bands, they are able to retain a distinctively British sound within their songs. This is due in part to the production efforts of Dave Eringa, who has also produced the music of the Manic Street Preachers. Lead singer Roddy Woomble reaches for beautiful harmonies that edge into an angst-filled scream powerful enough to shake a bottle of Evian off your desk. Woomble’s favorite singer is Morrissey. The two singers’ emotional depth is comparable, but Woomble makes sure you know that he is the front man of a punk band. However, beautiful ballads such as “”The Bronze Medal”” make you wonder if they are edging toward a R.E.M.-esque sound. Their first single was released in March 1997 on the same label responsible for early Eugenius and Chicane singles. Successful airplay on Steve Lamacq’s BBC Radio 1 Evening Session gave them more exposure, which led to working with the Fierce Panda label, which has released singles from Mansun, Placebo and Embrace. Idlewild’s most recent effort, “”100 Broken Windows,”” is a powerful album that experiments with emotive drum beats and smooth harmonies. This isn’t just three-chord punk rock, but an intelligent, hard-hitting style of punk that is new and intense. “”Little Discourage”” is their first single and was an instant hit in the United Kingdom. Other tracks such as “”Actually It’s Darkness”” and “”Idea Track”” round out the solid album. If you believe Blink 182 is punk rock, then you need to let Idlewild take you on a sonic ride into honest punk rock, recalling the quality sound of punk rock in the late ’70s and ’80s. “”100 Broken Windows”” will be released March 13. Idlewild will be peforming at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles on March 14. — Joseph Lee ...

Hiatus Weekly Calendar

All tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling (619) 220-8497 or by going to http://www.ticketmaster.com, unless noted. 22 Thursday Flamenco Vivo presents Noches Flamenco. This passionate San Diego dance troupe will heat things up at Dizzy’s. There will be a performance at 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. The cover is $10. Call (858) 270-7467 for ticket information. Eve Selis, who is often compared to Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow, blends different styles of American roadhouse rock to create her own distinctive style. Selis will perform at the Belly Up Tavern at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5. David J, who is one of the founding members of legendary Goth band Bauhaus, is now behind the turntables spinning an eclectic musical concoction ranging from electronic to Billie Holiday. He will perform at The Casbah at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $8. 23 Friday Enjoy the Kenny Dorham Tribute featuring an evening of music by this underrated bop trumpet player. The show will feature Gilbert Castellanos, Gary Lefebvre, Rob Thorsen, Paul Keeling and Brett Sanders. There will be shows at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The cover charge is $8. For more information call (858) 270-7467. Greg Hetson from Bad Religion, Eric Melvin from NoFX, Derrick O’Brien from Social Distortion and Mike Watt from The Minutemen and Firehose will be your band for about two minutes at The Casbah’s Punk Rock Karaoke. Tickets are $10. Sign up before the show to get the chance to be on stage. Check http://www.emperorsnewfoes. com/songlist.html for the complete songlist and lyric sheets. 24 Saturday Cindy Lee Berryhill along with Joy Eden Harrison will perform at Dizzy’s, each showcasing her own acoustic-folk style. The show starts at 8 p.m. Call (858) 270-7467 for details. Texas band The Gourds are already successful in Europe and are looking to break into the American scene. This five-piece band recently released an album titled, “”Bolsa de Aqua.”” Fans of Phish might enjoy this group. Tickets cost $8. The show is at the Brick by Brick and starts at 8 p.m. 25 Sunday The eclectic hip-hop stylings of Jurassic 5 will be at 4th & B. This Los Angeles-based group has been together for the past six years and it has definitely given a very vibrant and positive spin to hip-hop. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $22.50. 27 Tuesday George Winston is a solo piano artist whose style comes from 1950s pop instrumentalists. His most recognizable works are probably the soundtracks for the “”Charlie Brown”” cartoons and “”The Velveteen Rabbit.”” Winston will be performing at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $30. 28 Wednesday Girls Against Boys opened for Garbage at RIMAC Arena about a year ago, and to put it simply, they were very good. This Washington, D.C. group bases its music on thick, crunchy guitar and driving drum beats. It will be supported by Autolux and Drop Science at The Casbah. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. and tickets cost $8. Henry Rollins, former frontman of the Rollins Band and Black Flag, will be at 4th & B talking about his life on the road and his humorous reflections on politics and touring around the world. Tickets are $15 and the event starts at 8:30 p.m. ...

'Sweet November' Evokes Sour Taste

It is difficult to describe “”Sweet November”” without comparing it to a “”Love Story”” redone for the millennium. That’s exactly what it is, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. It is a remake of a 1968 film called “”Sweet November.”” Only now, everything is awfully cute and politically correct. Cue entrance of token gay neighbor/drag queen with amazing job — because gay people can have important positions, you know. Of course, we would all love to be vegan animal lovers living out our dreams in the most expensive city in the world, mysteriously affording a lush apartment without actually working. Of course we should all live as if money doesn’t matter. Soft-focus lenses and colored light would be a plus, too. I fundamentally disagree with the treatment of the majority of the underlying issues in this film. Additionally, it is boring. I don’t like chick flicks, and “”Sweet November”” reminds me why. Boy-meets-girl-and-almost-loses-girl ad infinitum. But I won’t give away the ending in case you like Keanu Reeves and want to see it, just for the pleasure of seeing him as the rat-race-loving ad man, Nelson. Reeves can’t act. Sorry, but he just can’t. Charlize Theron saves the day as the woman whose task in life is to “”save”” men. I’m sure a lot of women will identify with this aspect of the film. The film should come with a warning label that says, “”This is a film, not a representation of real life.”” Cue hundreds of females rushing out to save the first and best traumatized male in their immediate environment. Gals, don’t go there. It doesn’t work that way in real life. ...

Jonny Is All Grown Up Now

As I walked into the intimate Dreamcatcher Lounge at Viejas Casino, I decided to take a seat and subtly listen to comments made about the blues performer of the evening. Praise for him reached me in the form of a one-shot-too-many older man who bluntly said, “”This guy fuckin’ rocks! You excited?”” Courtesy of Paul Calis Blues: Over the past four years, Jonny Lang has played with Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones and blues legend B.B. King. Now, at 20, he has continued to mature and develop his style. Um, yeah, but I did not need a random man to inform me of Jonny Lang’s talent; I had heard and believed all the hype from day one. Four years ago, “”child prodigy”” was the best description of Lang. He kept his listeners in awe with his amazing blues singing and guitar playing. Lang was a huge 50-year-old black man from Mississippi hiding inside the body of a lanky 16-year-old white boy from Minnesota. The music industry took notice. Since his debut album “”Lie To Me,”” Lang has been invited to tour with B.B. King, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones and Blues Traveler. He has also headlined a world tour. Four years after his debut, Lang has left the heading of “”child prodigy”” and taken his place among the blues elite. He has also released his second album, “”Wander This World.”” Straying from purely blues to include a touch of R&B and rock, this album received more acclaim than the first. Yet, in trying to distance himself from other flashy musicians who tend to focus on high drama, Lang stayed true to his musical influences like bluesmen King and the late Luther Allison. He describes his music style as the “”simple kind of full and dirty sound.”” One might assume Lang’s fan base would be limited to twentysomethings, but he has fans of all ages. At Viejas Friday night, the average fan was a middle-aged male. With no opening act or grand entrance, Lang and the rest of his band nonchalantly walked onto the stage. As the fans screamed and clapped, Lang smiled and waved casually to the crowd and began to effortlessly strum his guitar. The performance lasted about an hour-and-a-half, and Lang had the crowd in the palm of his hand the entire time. The audience followed Lang’s emotions throughout; it listened intently to Lang’s self-written ballad “”Walking Away.”” People danced in the aisles to Lang’s upbeat “”Lie To Me.”” Lang also introduced fans to a couple of new songs from his latest album. The show was incredible. Fans, including me, walked in with the intention of seeing a great show and left knowing we had witnessed one of the most incredible musicians of our time. ...

CD Previews

There are many new releases to look for and many future releases to look forward to, but there have been a great deal of recent records that will make you cringe. An older-looking, long-haired version of the Backstreet Boys released “”Black & Blue.”” Limp Bizkit exposed their trite rap-metal sound with “”Chocolate Starfish & the Hotdog Flavored Water.”” And that Britney Spears keeps releasing those damn singles. But, on the other hand, U2 finally released, “”All That You Can’t Leave Behind”” which is arguably the best U2 album to date, with its blend of past and present sounds. Radiohead’s “”Kid A”” may have been a bit difficult to digest for the pop world, but conceptually, the album is genius. A number of greatest hits collections made it much easier for many to experience the sonic beauty of Lenny Kravitz, the wit of Blur and the nostalgia of The Beatles. Therefore, your friendly hiatus editor has taken the liberty of highlighting some of the recent releases you should pick up and the albums that you should look for in the near future. BS 2000 – “”Simply Mortified”” (Grand Royal)= BS 2000 is the pet project of Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz and his old-time buddy and hardcore drummer Amery Smith. “”Simply Mortified”” was released earlier this week and, sonically, it is a turn to some retro-style dance music with outdated drum machines. All this is under Horowitz’ socially conscious lyrics, which also take the occasional jab at Eminem-style rappers. David Gray – “”Lost Songs 95-98″” (IHT) In case you have never heard of David Gray, he swept through the UK this year with his hit album, “”White Ladder.”” He is also beginning to climb the American charts under Dave Matthews’ record label. Gray is finally getting some acknowledgment, considering the fact that “”White Ladder”” was originally released back in 1998. “”Lost Songs 95-98″” is a collection of heart-tugging acoustic songs that were recorded before the epic “”White Ladder.”” Even though it was only released this week, “”Lost Songs”” has already been nominated for this year’s Brit Awards, the across-the-Atlantic equivalent of the Grammy Awards. “”Lost Songs”” is simple and sweet with just an acoustic guitar, piano and Gray’s vocals that evoke memories of Bob Dylan. John Frusciante – “”To Record Only Water For Ten Days”” (Warner Brothers) John Frusciante has recently released his third solo album, which may be difficult to swallow, but shows the true genius of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guitarist. This collection of songs is raw and based on rambling riffs and rough drum patterns. Layered over these melodies is Frusciante’s husky voice, which often strains to a falsetto. “”To Record Only Water For Ten Days”” is very honest and at times crude because it isn’t over-produced, but it shows the stark clarity of Frusciante’s talent. Dave Matthews Band – “”Everyday”” (BMG/RCA) “”Everyday”” is the title of Dave Matthews’ first LP with his band since “”Before These Crowded Streets,”” which was released in 1998. “”Everyday”” is slated to be released Feb. 27. Between 1998 and 2001, Dave Matthews collaborated with Santana and went on a wildly popular tour across the country and back with longtime friend and collaborator Tim Reynolds. Matthews was able to keep fans happy with his 1999 all-acoustic release, “”Live At Luther College.”” “”Everyday”” is partly influenced by Reynolds’ eclectic musical style and will stand as one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Depeche Mode – “”Exciter”” (Mute) “”Songs of Faith & Devotion”” was released in 1993. Four years later, Depeche Mode released “”Ultra.”” Now, four years later, Depeche Mode will release their first proper studio album since 1997. Depeche Mode were able to tide their fans over with the release of their amazing singles collection from their early years up through “”Ultra.”” Depeche Mode’s new album, “”Exciter,”” is slated to be released in late May and members of the band have stated that they are very proud of their work in the studio. Vocalist David Gahan has expressed that the track “”Freelove”” is on par with the pop sensibility of “”Enjoy the Silence.”” The official Web site for Depeche Mode, http://www.depechemode.com, has offered small bits of their songs in MP3 format. The tracks reflect the catchy tunes of classic Depeche Mode along with a cutting-edge electronic sound. Radiohead – “”Amnesiac”” (Parlaphone) Radiohead followed up “”OK Computer”” with the very avant-garde electro-styling of “”Kid A.”” Now, less than a year after the release of “”Kid A,”” Radiohead are already set to release another studio album. “”Amnesiac”” is expected to be released early in June. The set of songs found on “”Amnesiac”” are from the “”Kid A”” sessions, but the band consider the songs more radio-friendly and melodic. This album is sure to set off proper promotional duties for Radiohead, including the release of singles and a long-awaited world tour. Some of the songs expected to be released have already been performed live, and those live versions have been circulating around the Internet for months. “”Knives Out”” is a Smiths-esque track that should be one of the singles on the album. “”True Love Waits”” is a deeply emotional song that was supposed to find its way onto “”OK Computer.”” “”True Love Waits”” has been one of the more popular songs among Radiohead bootleggers. “”Follow Me Around”” was introduced in their movie “”Meeting People Is Easy”” and it may find its way onto the album. “”Egyptian Song,”” “”Nude,”” “”Lift”” and “”Dollars and Cents”” are among the other tracks rumored to be on the new album. Radiohead’s “”Amnesiac”” is guaranteed to be one of the most anticipated albums of the summer. ...

Hiatus Weekly Calendar

15 Thursday Julia Fordham has released six studio albums and has worked with producer Hugh Padgham, who has produced for The Police and XTC. This British songwriter has been called a modern-day Joni Mitchell. She performs at Brick by Brick at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $8 and can be purchased from Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497. Guitarist and songwriter Shawn Colvin stepped into the public spotlight with her hit “”Sunny Came Home,”” which won a Grammy. Colvin will be at the Belly Up Tavern at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497. 16 Friday Super DJ, producer and remixer Paul Oakenfold will be at Club Montage in San Diego. Oakenfold has remixed New Order, Mansun and Radiohead. He has held residencies at British superclubs Ministry of Sound, Cream and Home. The event starts at 9 p.m. Buy tickets through Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497. You can find out exactly who Jill Scott is at the Belly Up Tavern. Scott’s incredible voice and soulful music has pushed her to become of the most popular newcomers in music. The show starts at 9:15 p.m. and tickets cost $30. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497. 17 Saturday Eve 6 won’t be at UCSD for Winterfest, and their show at the Mira Mesa Epicentre is one of the reasons why. After signing a major record deal while they were in high school, Eve 6 wrote a hit song about hearts in blenders. Eve 6 will be supported by Vast. Call the Mira Mesa Epicentre for ticket information at (858) 271-4000. Listen to some straight-up jazz with tenor sax player Steve Feierabend at Dizzy’s. Feierabend has performed with The Four Tops and The Temptations. The show starts at 8:45 p.m. and tickets are $8. Call (858) 270-7467 for more information. The Insane Clown Posse almost released an album under a Disney-affiliated record label, but they were quickly dropped. Their violent rap-metal sound and lyrics were picked up by Island. These Clowns will perform at Cane Bar & Grill. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $20. Call Ticketmaster for tickets at (619) 220-8497. 18 Sunday The Neville Brothers are in town all the way from New Orleans. Their spicy funk sound will be at 4th and B. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $25 from Ticketmaster. 19 Monday Don’t miss the festivities at the Bob Marley Day Celebration. The festival features the life and sounds of Bob Marley as well as a showcase of the top acts in reggae. The lineup includes Judy Mowatt, Don Carlos, Shaggy, Ras Michael and more. The event starts at 1 p.m. at the San Diego Sports Arena. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster for $25 to $35 at (619) 220-8497. 20 Tuesday The mission of the Ground Control record label is to bring the culture of hip-hop into the foreground, which includes MCing, DJing, beat boxing, graffiti and break dancing. With this determination, Ground Control records brings Ed O.G., Aceyalone and Rasco to Canes Bar & Grill. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $15. Call Ticketmaster for more information at (619) 220-8497. 21 Wednesday The father of modern funk, George Clinton, will perform at 4th and B at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30 and can be purchased through Tickemaster at (619) 220-8497. ...

Winterfest is Here

The festivals coordinators of the A.S. Council have announced who will be coming to Winterfest. Next week we will have a complete rundown of the bands and the event. And the winners in alphabetical order are: Courtesy of sprungmonkey.com Sprung: Natives of San Diego, Sprung Monkey is one of the acts performing at Winterfest. LUCY PEARL Lucy Pearl was formed in the summer of 1999 after Raphael Saadiq left the group he co-founded, Tony! Toni! Tone! Saadiq then teamed up with DJ Ali Shaheed from A Tribe Called Quest and with ex-En Vogue member Dawn Robinson. Courtesy of cashmoney-records.com Tough: Gangsta rap artist Juvenile will peform at Winterfest next Friday. Last November, singer and songwriter Joi replaced Robinson as the lead singer. Joi has received much praise for her debut album, “”The Pendelum Vibe”” in 1994 and “”Amoeba Cleansing Syndrome”” in 1997. JUVENILE Terius Gray is better known as the gangsta rapper, Juvenile. After meeting with the owners of Cash Money records, Juvenile released “”Solja Rags”” in 1996, which was an underground hit. In 1998 he released “”400 Degreez”” and with his popularity growing, “”Solja Rags”” was rereleased. Juvenile’s new album “”Project English”” is expected to be released March 27. SPRUNG MONKEY San Diego punk band Sprung Monkey is led by vocalist Steve Summers and released their first album “”Swirl”” in 1995. After signing with Hollywood Records, their next major release was in 1998 with “”Mr. Funny Face.”” You may remember the hit radio song, “”Get ‘Em Outta Here.”” Winterfest will be Friday, Feb. 23. UCSD students get in free with a can of food and there will be a limited amount of guest tickets available. ...

Album Reviews

Jennifer Lopez “”J.Lo”” Epic Records C- :: Let’s be honest: If Jennifer Lopez recorded with only a harmonica, put her picture on the cover and called it the best record she has ever made, chances are it would be successful. So is the case with “”J.Lo.”” It is not very promising, but it will, in fact, be a hit record. This actress-turned-singer released her first album in 1999, which was a success. Lopez’s sophomore album, “”J.Lo,”” confidently hit the pop chart in late January. It has since seen its first single hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts. But is it good? Well, let’s just say it could be better. In mixing teen pop and Latin beats with ghetto flair, the majority of this album is destined to be heard on dance floors or will at least show up on the next “”What’s Hot NOW”” compilation CD in about three months. “”Love Don’t Cost A Thing”” is the first pop hit off this album, with lyrics such as, “”If I wanna floss, I got my own.”” I think this one speaks for itself. Lopez goes back to her Puerto Rican roots with “”Si Ya Se Acabo.”” Although this isn’t the only track Lopez has done in Spanish, the song is the soulful highlight of the album. I like Lopez — I really do. The bottom line, though, is we have been around the pop-princess block before, and it is not getting any better. –Tara Jones Goldfrapp “”Felt Mountain”” Muse B :: The last time you heard Alison Goldfrapp’s voice was on Tricky’s album “”Maxinquaye,”” which was released back in 1995. She has also worked with Orbital. She is strangely seductive and very charismatic. “”Felt Mountain”” is one of the most amazing debut albums I have heard in ages. Composer, vocalist, whistler and keyboardist Goldfrapp collaborated with composer Will Gregory and created a sound that combines the beauty of the past, the present and beyond. This is avant-garde pop that is easy to listen to. Goldfrapp takes familiar sounds from movie soundtracks and ’60s French pop, combining them with haunting James Bond-esque vocals and alluring electronic sounds. Take this album with you on an alpine trip or perhaps on a secret spy mission in Prague. This album evokes the feeling of being a daring and romantic spy saving the world from imminent destruction. With “”Felt Mountain”” as the soundtrack to my I-want-to-be-just-like-James-Bond fantasies, I can zoom around the freeways of San Diego pretending that I am eluding the Commies in East Germany. With lyrics like “”I forget who I am, I forget, fascist baby,”” there is no way you can resist Goldfrapp’s charm. She can even make songs about paper bags sound sexy. “”Felt Mountain”” was recorded in a very large bedroom, and its lush rhythms and jazzy soundscapes bring you to a point of warmth and the strange distance of a black and white film. This album is perfect for rainy days. If that isn’t enough, countless magazine surveys of famous rock musicians’ favorite albums indicate that Ed O’Brien of Radiohead and the illustrious Moby have given their praise to Goldfrapp. This beautiful release can border on cheesy, but this will be one of the best debut albums to make its way into your CD collection. — Joseph Lee ...

To Some They're Still Giant

Alternative band They Might Be Giants played to an enthusiastic but diminutive crowd at San Diego’s 4th and B. Last year the band toured to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of their album, “”Flood.”” The 2001 tour is in reaction to the high turnout they received last year, yet last Sunday’s San Diego show did not sell out despite the band’s recent notoriety as the performers of the theme song to the sitcom “”Malcolm in the Middle.”” The band catered to an audience composed of overwhelmingly die-hard fans by playing a good number of their older and more bizarre songs and B-sides like “”Minimum Wage”” and “”Fingertips”” along with such hits as “”Don’t Let’s Start”” and “”Particle Man.”” The band’s principal members John Linell and John Flansburgh, and their three back-up musicians — all named Dan — still managed to keep the crowd on its toes, introducing five unreleased songs and lapsing into improv segments. At several points the musicians facetiously emulated free jazz and incorporated the audience into the performance in a command-response relationship. These moments of spontaneity lent the show to a sense of freshness despite the fact that the audience could sing along with nearly all the material. But all too obvious was evidence of the alleged rivalry between Linell and Flansburgh. While Flansburgh, the rhythm guitarist, exhibited the jovial attitude that the band is known for in his on-stage banter, Linell stood behind the keyboard and performed with a self-mocking tone. The two seldom made eye contact, even when they were alone on stage. This didn’t disappoint the crowd, as the band was coaxed out for two encores. But the conclusion the audience seemed to draw was that after 17 years and multiple permutations, the band might be losing some of its original gusto as it moves into a slightly more commercial sphere. Fortunately, the focus of this tour is the commemoration of that which set the band apart from the beginning. While the band is producing material that looks less and less like what made them famous, they’ve proven that they can still rock like they did almost two decades ago. If you’re not familiar with TMBG material, check out their greatest hits album, “”Severe Tire Damage”” ...

Film Review

The quality of a film is often negatively correlated with the number of genres it tries to straddle. “”Head over Heels”” could be described as a romantic-crazy-drama-comedy with action elements. Courtesy of Universal Pictures It is the concept of one “”girl next door”” (Monica Potter) living with four models, and she just happens to be good-looking herself. OK, fine. This is America, after all. Add living across the road from the vague exhibitionist Mr. Perfect (Freddie Prinze Jr.), who may or may not be a serial killer. Then progress to pile up the cliches at a higher rate than your average Bon Jovi lyric. A sense of humor based on bodily functions and discharges can make for funny films. It’s just that it’s been done so much funnier, so many times before. That goes for every potential laugh-inducing element of this film: the makeover scene (“”Clueless””), the spying on neighbors (“”Friends””) and the list just goes on. In the last instance, the film suffers from trying to do everything at once and never really manages to achieve anything. The only thing it has built to excess is the melodrama with quivering lips and knees. The action scene has been toned down to an insipid level. The models try to act but become, at best, caricatures of themselves next to the more developed main characters. Guys, they don’t even have breasts, cause they’re models, and models are too skinny to produce any luscious cleavage to speak of. I tried to amuse myself by reading meaning into the Kate Moss-skinny script, but to no avail — unless the statements “”Women can’t be both beautiful and smart at the same time; they need men to save them”” and “”Men with foreign accents are villains”” count as anything worthy of “”meaning.”” To me they don’t. If you do have an irresistible urge to expose yourself to this film, at least hold back until it’s released on video, so you can cringe in the comfort of your own home. Or alternatively, go on Valentine’s Day, because here’s your chance to make out in the dark cinema without missing anything at all. ...