Three To Tango

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Details At A Glance

Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - 1.78:1 16x9 DD 2.0
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital Aurora
Year Released 1999 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 94:21 minutes Other Extras Menu Audio
Production Notes
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (51:30)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Damon Santostefano

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Matthew Perry
Neve Campbell
Dylan McDermott
Oliver Platt
Case Button (New)
RRP $34.95 Music Graeme Revell

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement
Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Annoying Product Placement Yes, slightly
Action In or After Credits Yes, important story wrap-up over initial end credits

Plot Synopsis

    In Short: A one-joke movie using a fairly standard plot device that actually works really well.

    One of the things that I tend to do before watching a movie for the first time on DVD is to read the blurb on the back of the cover. Three To Tango's blurb had me really worried. Very high on hype and style, the blurb seemed to be one of those hyperbole-filled blurbs that tries to make the movie sound better than it really is. It was with some trepidation, therefore, that I sat down to watch Three To Tango.

    Here's the unhyped plot; Oscar Novak (Matthew Perry) is an architect in partnership with Peter Steinberg (Oliver Platt). Peter is gay. Oscar and Peter are bidding for a 90 million dollar contract to renovate a historical building for Charles Newman (Dylan McDermott). Charles has a wife, and a mistress (Amy Post - Neve Campbell). Charles does not trust his mistress, Amy. Through a comedy of errors, Charles comes to believe that Oscar is gay, and asks Oscar to watch over Amy. Oscar falls in love with Amy.

    The movie revolves around the premise that Oscar is not gay, but people come to think that he is gay. That's the gist of the movie. At first glance, you really wonder how much could be made of such a simple premise. Fortunately, the movie is well-written and well-acted, particularly by Matthew Perry as the unfortunate Oscar. Indeed, if it were not for the exemplary performance by Matthew Perry, this movie would have fallen very flat indeed, as the entire premise of the movie is totally reliant on you becoming sympathetic to his cause. Fortunately, this is readily achieved, making the scenario entirely believable. Oscar is a very likeable, flawed human being with whom it is very easy to sympathize.

    I'm not sure about the replay value of this movie, as a lot of the comedy revolves around the absurdity of the situations that Oscar finds himself in, and the resultant unexpected surprises that result, but this is a movie that is certainly worth watching when you are looking to spend a pleasant night in front of the DVD player without getting into anything too deep and meaningful.

Transfer Quality


    This is generally a good transfer, but it is not without its flaws.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is generally very sharp indeed, as befits a contemporary transfer of a contemporary movie. Subtle foreground image details abound in this transfer - you can see individual freckles and blemishes on Neve Campbell's chest, for example. Where this transfer is let down is in the backgrounds of scenes, with considerable grain impinging upon the background of the image at times which marred the otherwise exemplary definition of the foreground images. Shadow detail is good, with plenty of deep, clear blacks which reveal abundant detail. The blacks are free of low level noise other than when grain impinges upon the image.

    This transfer is very strongly coloured, from the opening pastel shots through to the end credits. Vivid, crisp and clear colours are the order of the day, with no evidence of colour bleeding or chroma noise. I got the impression that the vivid colouration was a deliberate artistic choice, emphasizing the farcical nature of this movie, but some may find the overall colouration too strong for their tastes.

    MPEG artefacting was problematic at times for this transfer, with subtle background macro-blocking periodically making itself apparent. Oscar's apartment is particularly problematic in this regard, as the walls of this apartment are textured, and this is simply not properly MPEG encoded leading to these walls frequently macro-blocking to a greater or lesser extent. The worst sequence, where macro-blocking is readily apparent in the background, is from 17:30 - 18:00, although it certainly happens frequently throughout the movie. It is worth pointing out that I played this DVD in its entirety on two different DVD players, with dramatically different results in the severity of this artefacting - on my reference Loewe Xemix DVD player, the problem was hardly noticeable at all, whereas on a Denon DVD-1500, the problem was horrific.

    There was some minor aliasing apparent and some minor moiré effects on some of the TV screens, but certainly nothing at all of any significance. There were no film artefacts noted.

    This DVD is RSDL formatted, with the moderately disruptive layer change at 51:30, right in the middle of a particularly dramatic sequence.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Grain/MPEG artefacts
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is only the one audio track on this DVD, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue initially starts off being fairly poorly spatially integrated and confined to the centre channel, but as the movie progresses, this aspect of the transfer improves. Almost all of the dialogue is very easy to understand, with the exception of one bit of dialogue from Neve Campbell which is tantalizingly difficult to make out. Audio sync is not a problem, although it is clear that some portions of the dialogue have been re-recorded or inserted in post-production. These edits are quite noticeable because of the significant changes in timbre that occur at these points.

    The surround channels had little to do in this soundtrack other than to occasionally lend support to the music. Most of the occasional special effects were spread across the front soundstage rather than being spread all around the soundfield. For this type of movie, this was no big loss.

    The .1 channel was a little disappointing, as it was somewhat under-used, particularly during the opening sequence.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are a small number of extras on this DVD.

Menu Audio

Dolby Digital Aurora Trailer

Biography - Crew

    All we have here is a biography for the Director, Damon Santostefano and a cast & crew listing.

Production Notes

    Labelled Behind The Scenes, these are a few brief notes on the production.

Theatrical Trailer

R4 vs R1

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;     There is nothing compelling here to prefer one version over the other.


    Despite all signs to the contrary, I really enjoyed Three To Tango.

    The video quality is acceptable, but should have been better.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    There are limited extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
13th June 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Loewe Xemix 5006DD/Denon DVD-1500, using RGB & S-Video outputs
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the RGB & S-Video inputs. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer