Episodic story about a yuppie couple who're going broke, and can't decide if they want to stay together - but openly sleep around and experiment with different lifestyles, or not.


Michael Tolkin


Michael Tolkin
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Weller ... Peter Witner
Judy Davis ... Katherine Witner
Patrick Bauchau ... Jean Levy
Rachel Rosenthal Rachel Rosenthal ... Sarah Friedberg
Adam West ... Jeff Witner
Paula Marshall ... Alison Gale
Bruce Ramsay ... Misha
Tanya Pohlkotte Tanya Pohlkotte ... Bettina
Susan Traylor ... Ellen Saltonstall
Patricia Heaton ... Anna
John Diehl ... Lyle
Maureen Mueller ... Laura
Sandra Seacat ... Mary Netter
Samuel L. Jackson ... Dale Deveaux
Audra Lindley ... Sandi Rego


A 'grown-up' film about adult relationships, and the vapidness of new ageism. Peter and Katherine Witner are well-off, SoCal yuppies. They're intelligent, and have great jobs but no centre - no real foundation which gives messaging to their lives - just very hedonistic, and emotionally immature. When they both lose their jobs, they begin to have sex with various partners. As a solution to their situation; they decide to start a business, together, and in order to find meaning to their empty lives, they turn to various new age gurus, and other such groups. Eventually, they emotionally hit rock bottom, and must make some hard decisions. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A shopping spree for the morally bankrupt.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Isabelle Adjani was cast in the role of Katherine Witner, but left the production before shooting began. See more »


Peter Witner: Did you know that in Chinese the word for "crisis" is the same as the word for "opportunity"?
See more »


Referenced in Hanging with Batman (2014) See more »

User Reviews

Mess or Masterpiece?
24 January 1999 | by kev-22See all my reviews

Critics seem to have split widely on this film, and it's easy to see why. It's a rather painful, plodding thing to sit through--yet one can't get it out of the mind afterward. Writer/director Tolkin has a lot of disturbing things to say about post-industrial affluence in America in the 1990s, and in trying to say everything in one movie he has piled it on so thick that the brain requires a postmortem to reflect. Judy Davis, as she was in "Husbands and Wives," is dynamite, and the film is worth seeing just for her. The film has an uncanny eye and feel for the bleak interiors of the contemporary American service economy: the boutiques, the high-rise telemarketing boiler rooms, the house-poor interiors of career people who are hardly ever at home, etc. The film's title refers to the spiritual quest of the couple to find a meaning to their existence, or at least some alternative approach to life to their destructive materialism. How they go about it is all wrong, of course. In true hedonist fashion, they try everything. At the same time they seek a simpler, spiritual, non-materialistic life via a bunch of wacky gurus and cultists, they are indulging in carnal and other pleasures as diversions. When they open a small business, ostensibly to gain more control over their lives and income, the forces of the world are worse than any bosses. In all of this, they seem to be outside of everything they do, as in dreams when you watch yourself and are powerless to control the changing scenery. Despite their doldrums and hostility, this is a couple who have too much in common to split. During the course of all this, Tolkin gets plenty of jabs in about an American economy that seems to be teetering on wisps of hope rather than on any true productivity. By the end, the "new age" looks uncomfortably like a very old one, in which the law of the jungle reigned.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

16 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The New Age See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,797, 18 September 1994

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed