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A film noir, psychological thriller in the vein of "Body Heat", "Basic Instinct", and "Double Indemnity", this film centers on two old friends and the woman who comes between them in a small American town. Money, lust, and obsession are American Standards, and even the tightest bonds are not immune to their pull. Written by
A heavy trip into neo-noir and femme fatale territory
Matt Long has a strong attraction for his best friend's (Luke Mably) girl friend (Emmanuelle Chriqui) with whom he makes love. But she stops the relationship at a one night stand, saying that she was drunk and she's marrying Luke and he has the money to take care of her. Matt goes away to become a lawyer and finds another girl friend. Five years pass. Matt's father dies and Matt goes back home for the first time. Chriqui still has the hots for him (so it seems) and he for her.
All of this we learn in flashback for Matt is under arrest for (apparently) the murder of Chriqui. Things get a lot more complex than this because there are several other suspects and because Matt seems to attract homicides the way a magnet attracts iron.
This story kept me attentive until the end and the twists (doublecrosses and cross-plots) were plausible, given that we are dealing with some manipulative people of less than sterling moral character.
Are there some plot holes? I'd have to watch it again to be sure there are or are not. There quite probably are. Most such stories have them. After the fact, I can imagine how one apparent hole might have been worked out logically off screen, but I'm not sure my imagining or figuring is correct.
The acting sufficed. The hero at least got out of town and made good faith efforts to get the woman off his mind, but I'd have to admit that this was not easy to do when she comes on to him so strongly. Love dies hard. On the other hand, his new girl friend was a solid and attractive lass. But then he had a strong instinct to protect Chriqui from a husband who was apparently abusing her. So that his renewed fall into her arms does make sense.
Overall, it's not a bad film and not a bad film noir storywise. The directing and photography didn't add any impact or originality to it, and that explains my below average rating. Certain flashbacks were repeated, and that detracted. Matt played it a little too much with one expression and acted stunned most of the time and in a daze trying to figure out what had happened to him. The script probably let him down. It could have brought out the ironies of his situation more deeply. As in some other such stories, there seems to be altogether too much willingness of a character to spill everything to the police, with no lawyer present and with no thought of how much they are giving away if charges are brought against them. In real life, it's madness to trust police and talk to them in nearly all circumstances.
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