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David James Elliott
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In the perfectly normal town of Louisville, KY, there is a perfectly normal man living the perfect life. David Dailey is a man who has it all: A great career, a community that adores him, and an enduring marriage. But beneath the surface, David's idyllic world is crumbling. He's haunted by a series of mysterious notes that warn of an imminent fall from grace. His sultry wife Susan is hell-bent on expanding the horizons of their sex life - with or without him. His longtime assistant Whit is gunning for his job. And he finds himself increasingly attracted to Melody Carpenter, a curious stranger he instinctively trusts because she doesn't know him well enough to betray him. Complicating matters, Melody's jilted boyfriend Sean, a charming and talented trust fund baby, regards David and Melody's fledgling friendship with contempt. As his jealousy seethes deeper, he concocts a devious plan to win her back, unaware his overly protective father has ordered his number one ally to keep an eye ... Written by
Lunacy Unlimited Productions
I have a strong suspicion that many of the glowing reviews for this film come from shills. If not, then I'm baffled. As my friend said, "There went ninety minutes that I'll never get back."
The best part of the film is the title sequence, which was very slick and set the right suspenseful mood. After that, things went quickly downhill. The acting is workmanlike, the script is full of clumsy dialogue, and the direction is riddled with embarrassing clichés. (For instance, during the final showdown, which of course takes place in a dark house during a thunderstorm, we are treated to a flash of lightning suddenly revealing the silhouette of someone on the doorstep -- twice!)
"Keep Your Distance" tries to be a character-driven suspense film, but the problem is that the characters are insubstantial and unlikable and there is no suspense. I knew who the culprit was from the beginning, simply due to Ebert's "law of economy of characters," but I didn't know why. At the end of the film, I still didn't know why. The clues that we are given, when they are finally deciphered by the characters, turn out to be mostly irrelevant.
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