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FRIENDS AND LOVERS was released in NY and LA on April 16, 1999. If anyone has seen it, let me know because I would love to hear about it. Sorry the pictures aren't of the best quality. I'm still scouting around for more.

Black and white images are shots of Stephen from a promotional interview he did about "Friends and Lovers". They come courtesy of Melissa's page The Young Riders Way Station. Thanks Melissa.

From ET online

If you think your life is complicated, check out 'Friends & Lovers' -- a farcical look at contemporary relationships between (and among) the sexes as told through the lives of six "best friends" who pair up in unexpected ways over a memorable ski weekend.

Five close friends (STEPHEN BALDWIN, DANNY NUCCI, ALISON EASTWOOD, GEORGE NEWBERN and NEIL BARRY) make the trek to Park City, Utah, anticipating a healthy and fun-filled weekend of hellbent skiing and comfortable camaraderie.

Of course, the weekend soon spirals out of control when Baldwin picks up trouble in the form of a hitchhiker (ROBERT DOWNEY, JR., sporting a shock of blond hair and a hilariously unapologetic German accent) and Barry picks up his single, pregnant sister (SUZANNE CRYER). As Baldwin tries desperately to impress his model girlfriend (CLAUDIA SCHIFFER), the inhibitions are melting like snow in a Jacuzzi with the rest of the group. Most of the action takes place off the slopes as the days schuss by and the friends reexamine their relationships with each other.

Pillow fights, exploding microwaves, games of "musical bedrooms," and a hot tub scene that has to be seen to be believed round out the weekend.


`FRIENDS AND LOVERS" is one of those movies that looks as if it were a lot more fun to make than it is to watch. (Hey, if I'm a 20-something actor and somebody asked me to work for 21 days in a ski resort with people that are even prettier than I am, I should have something better to do?)

As easy as it is to imagine yourself with such a soft gig, it may be even easier to imagine a more original script for this pale attempt at old-fashioned "pairing off" comedy.

It's one of those weekend-in-the-boonies situations in which Ian (George Newbern) is invited to spend Christmas with his estranged dad (David Rasche) at the latter's house in Utah. Ian hates his dad, doesn't want to go. Unfortunately for him and for us, his friends do.

So off to the mountains go the following: Jon (Stephen Baldwin), a self-styled stud who's conned a model (Claudia Schiffer) into coming along; Jane (Suzanne Cryer), who's pregnant and knows the baby's gender but doesn't talk with the father; her brother Keaton (Neill Barry); shy, gay David (Danny Nucci), and Lisa (Alison Eastwood), who appears to be along for the ride because, as with everyone else in this group, there's little besides stock mannerisms and hairstyle to distinguish her from anyone else in the movie.

Even though you can tell almost from the beginning where and with whom everyone will end up, writer-director George Haas has spared no gratuitous contrivance, including the presence of a German ski instructor named Hans (Robert Downey Jr., wilding away with an accent broad enough to house a minivan) and an enigmatic snowboarder (Leon) for David to flirt with.

Haas even throws in running gags that don't work, like Dad's hopelessness in the kitchen. And just what are the odds on whether Ian and his pop will ever reconcile? If you don't know, check back after you've watched the next "Brady Bunch" marathon.

Wifty and bubble-brained as it is, "Friends and Lovers" may satisfy some abstract need you may have for a vicarious ski weekend.


The debut feature from co-writer and director George Haas, Friends and Lovers follows several socially sophisticated, emotionally immature Gen X-ers, platonic pals since college and estranged from their parents, who have formed a de facto family in the big city. Jon (Baldwin) is an obnoxious playboy who likes to crow about his grotesque theory involving the size-ratio between women's lips and their nipples. His favorite sparring partner is David (Danny Nucci, best known as the Italian emigrant in Titanic), a shy, bespectacled loner who would rather not talk about the fact that he's 1) gay and 2) a virgin. The brooding Keaton (Neill Barry) runs an unnamed business with sulky Ian (George Newbern, who played the groom in The Father of the Bride remake). And Lisa (an appealing Alison Eastwood) is the lone female, who notes that she's known the guys for ten years and has never had sex with any of them. Obviously, the girl's got taste.

When Ian's estranged father (David Rasche) calls to invite the whole gang to a mountain resort, there ensues a lengthy and deadly dull "packing the cars" sequence during which various characters wonder if Ian, who has a major beef with his workaholic, recently widowed dad, will make the trip. (He does, eventually, but by the time the nondescript Newbern shows up again, you've practically forgotten what he looks like.) Two more guests join the party along the way: Keaton's pregnant, unmarried sister (Suzanne Cryer, who remarks that "men are pigs" and women are "pig lovers), and Schiffer, who charmingly sends up her supermodel career by playing a naive, would-be model, tricked into accompanying Jon.

Fortunately, the movie's gets a singular jolt of energy from the appearance of Robert Downey, Jr., who sports a spectacular two-tone hairstyle, a Teutonic accent, and a sneering, Sprockets-on-skis attitude. He's hilarious, but whenever he's onscreen schussing, seducing, and barking out orders he serves as a reminder that movies can actually be fun, which this one isn't. A stop-and-start courtship between David and an attractive chess player is also mildly diverting.

Friends and Lovers is notable only for its place in the canon of recent gross-out cinema: one gag concerns the pregnant woman's habit of passing gas, and another is just an excuse for full-frontal male nudity, revealing Barry's large penis and flabby gut. Don't mistake these revelations for a liberal attitude toward relationships, since all the couples in the movie prefer to make sweaty, energetic love with heaps of bed linens arranged strategically between their bare bodies. It's as though Friends and Lovers, despite all its swinging, sex comedy stylings, can't be bothered to let anyone get that close to each other.