Film Review: Cavemen

As writer, director and producer of this predictable rom-com—about a love-starved L.A. guy who writes a screenplay about a love-starved L.A. guy—Herschel Faber has absolutely no one to blame but himself.

The title Cavemen refers to the four young male friends who share living quarters in a downtown Los Angeles warehouse they call “The Cave.” Their separate “bedrooms” are delineated by artfully hung sheets and assorted drapery which—in one early plot-activating scene—are left open so that when the film’s protagonist, Dean (Skylar Astin), returns home alone one night, he gets a full view of his naked housemates and their naked female conquests—all of whom are artfully arranged (two or three or four in a bed) in debauched sleep.

It’s shortly after this that Dean decides he’s had it with one-night stands—and, by golly, he’s going to write a screenplay about his search for True Love!

Dean and his buddy Jay (Chad Michael Murray) work as bartenders at a place where their roommates Pete (Kenny Wormald) and Andre (Dayo Okeniyi) hang out to drink beer and talk about their “primal need” to get laid every night. Tess (Camilla Belle), a waitress at the same hot spot, listens to all this and also dispenses friendly advice to Dean, who often takes her with him when he babysits his nephew. Actually, Dean and Tess consider themselves best friends—and they’re frequently caught giving each other knowing looks. (In the writing trade, this is called foreshadowing.)

But before Dean’s yearning heart can be struck with Cupid’s arrow, he continues to have a few one-night stands and even thinks he’s found “the one” in the exotic Kat (Alexis Knapp). When he writes of his feelings for her, however, it’s in “a voice that almost rings true,” says his agent—but not quite. How about actually showing two people falling in love?

When it finally happens—between Dean and Tessa—Faber's script puts them through some excruciating missed-connection plot twists, and he becomes so fond of one bit—having Dean run through the twisted lanes of a downtown shopping center to try to cut off Tess’ escape by taxi—he includes it twice.

On a more positive note, Astin and Belle are fine, appealing performers who do their best with what they’ve got. And the dialogue between the four “cavemen” is always lively and sometimes funny. But it’s truly a mystery as to how this movie got made—and why anybody (excluding horny L.A. guys) would want to see it.