October 1, 2022

The film revolves around four friends and their relationships with women. Set to the background of upscale Manhattan bars, lofts and apartments, the guys engage in sharp banter and one-upsmanship.

The men spend much of their time trying to decipher the word “pompatus,” from the Steve Miller song, wondering whether they are mis-hearing the lyrics: “Prophetess”? “Impetus”? “Profitless”? “Impotence”? “Pompous Ass”? “Pom-pom tits”? “Poconos”?

The characters, Mark, a therapist (Jon Cryer); Runyon, a playwright (Tim Guinee); Josh, a playboy (Adrian Pasdar) and Phil, a plumber (Adam Oliensis), try (generally unsuccessfully) to sort out their troubled love-lives.

Mark and his girlfriend Natasha (Kristen Wilson) who met on a blind date, are hung up over moving in together. They go to apartment after apartment, never agreeing on one they simultaneously like. She is getting more and more claustrophobic, having a dream that she is a field mouse that a bird of prey with Mark’s face is closing in on her. They close on a half-finished house, and Tasha bails on him.

Runyon is hung up over his old girlfriend Kathryn (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson), who has moved to Los Angeles. He flies there, with the excuse of seeking a producer for his screenplay. He goes so far as to sneak into her bedroom in the middle of the night to see her. He at least has a dinner date with someone new for Friday

The womanizing Josh is hung up on Phil’s sister, Gina (Paige Turco), who has an abusive husband. He meets Cynthia, single woman (Mia Sara) who he bumps into while going down a staircase. After a nice lunch he seems to genuinely like her so offers to make her dinner. Even though they have good chemistry, when Gina shows up earlier, they end up in bed together and he blows Cynthia off. He contacts Cynthia again and says he wants to go slow.

Phil, who is married with children, finds himself attracted to an older English interior designer (Kristin Scott Thomas) who is coming on to him regularly. He finds out about Gina and Josh, so storms by Josh’s to pick her up. He confronts the designer, telling her he can’t cheat on his wife.

The film finishes with the four friends again discussing the meaning of the Steve Miller song. Mark’s relationship is over; Runyon has closure; Josh for once is going to try to have a relationship; and Phil is maintaining his marriage.

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