In THREE TO TANGO, an aspiring young architect and his partner compete for an account with a Chicago tycoon. The competition takes a turn when the tycoon presumes the architect to be homosexual and asks him to spy on his mistress. Although the architect finds himself falling in love with the mistress, he must choose between pursuing the account as a homosexual professional or revealing to her and everyone else that he is straight and risk losing it all.
Oscar Novak, played by Matthew Perry of TV’s FRIENDS, and Peter Steinberg, played by Oliver Platt of SIMON BIRCH and LAKE PLACID, are a pair of architects vying with another firm to renovate a prominent building in the city. The contest is incurred by the debonare tycoon Charles Newman, played by Dylan McDermott of TV’s THE PRACTICE. While Peter is openly homosexual, Newman presumes Oscar to be homosexual as well after the opposing firm spreads rumors about the pair. With his confidence in Oscar’s character and sexuality secure, he asks Oscar to spy on his mistress, Amy Post, played by Neve Campbell of SCREAM, SCREAM 2 and TV’s PARTY OF FIVE. Although Oscar is apprehensive, he does not want to jeopardize losing the account, so he accepts the task and unwillingly hides the fact that he is heterosexual.
Oscar meets Amy, an artist, at one of her gallery showings. When he prevents one of her pieces from being accidently knocked down, the two hit it off romantically until Charles later tells Amy that Oscar is homosexual. Amy, though surprised and a bit disappointed, remains close friends with Oscar and even tries to fix him up with some “dates.”
Oscar tries to persuade his friends and family to believe he is not homosexual, but no one believes him except Peter, who knows that Oscar must remain silent so that they have a chance of getting the account. It seems like the more Oscar denies he is homosexual, the more trouble he gets in with people. He even gets elected as the “Gay Professional of the Year.” As he and Amy become closer, he realizes he must choose whether to remain silent about who he really is or reveal everything and risk his relationship with Amy and his future as an architect.
Although THREE TO TANGO did not completely promote homosexuality, it did not renounce it either. The main character denies being homosexual, resulting in a somewhat subordinate, yet politically correct view of homosexuals. Statements like “why should sexual preference matter” send a feel-good, tolerant message to the audience. Regardless of the character’s sexual preference, promiscuity and crude talk about sex is abundant in this movie, which also takes a casual view of adultery. THREE TO TANGO is a light comedy, not taking anything really seriously and walking the line so as not to offend anyone too much. It crosses the lines of good taste too often, however.
Moderately strong politically correct worldview, especially concerning issues of homosexuality, promiscuity & morality, with both pro-homosexual & anti-homosexual messages, references to main character as being "omnisexual," a homosexual proposal for a date, & characters taking a lax, "everything goes," stance regardless of their sexuality; 35 obscenities, 14 mostly mild profanities, much vulgar talk about sex, sounds of vomiting, & references to male genital size; female character accidentally hits male character twice, once in private parts, woman punches two men, implied vomiting in two scenes; implied adultery, implied sodomy (including two men shown in bed together) & many sexual references in dialogue; rear male nudity & females depicted in art gallery photos, plus cleavage; frequent alcohol use & mention about getting "very drunk"; smoking; and, adultery, promiscuity, blackmail & revenge.