NEW YORK -- Yet another in a seemingly endless series of low-budget indies being released every week to keep theaters occupied until the summer blockbusters come along, this debut feature, like so many of its brethren, is more reflective of good intentions than actual talent. The tale of a "Jersey Guy" who faces a moral and romantic dilemma in having to choose between his loyal girlfriend of seven years and a beautiful Manhattan model who inexplicably finds him irresistible, Elia Zois' film explores the same class tensions between Manhattanites and the bridge-and-tunnel crowd as did "Saturday Night Fever", only without that film's wit or John Travolta.
Jack (Steve Parlavecchio) is a 25-year-old living in New Jersey with his parents, working as a nursing home administrator and still unwilling to marry his patient girlfriend, Susan (Stacie Mistysyn). One night, he and his uncle venture into the rarefied environs of Manhattan to go to an exclusive Soho nightclub, where he meets Samantha (Jill Wolfe), a gorgeous model who takes an immediate shine to Jack despite his plaid shirt. Soon Jack, clad in a spiffy new black suit, is living a double life, lying to his girlfriend at every opportunity so that he can watch Sam's photo shoots and go with her to parties in the Hamptons. Eventually, of course, he must make a choice.
Jack's dilemma might have been more interesting if it had been rendered in more credible fashion or explored in more than surface detail. As depicted, it's hard to understand what a beautiful model would see in him -- it has something to do with the nobility of his profession, even though he spends most of his time trying to prevent an elderly woman from pulling the fire alarm -- and his duplicity, seemingly practiced without internal tension, makes him quite unsympathetic. Parlavecchio is unable to provide the depth or charisma that would allow us to more fully identify with his character's plight.
Neither the bland script by father-and-son team Christ and Elia Zois nor the latter's stilted direction are able to bring much life to the tale, and the performances, with the exception of Arthur Nascarella's sensitive turn as Jack's supportive father, are similarly unexceptional.