A sleazy misfire, despite a wonderful cast and a provocative premise
Joel (Jonathan Silverman), a hotshot LA lawyer, is throwing a dinner party with his beautiful second wife, medical student Sophie (Leah Lail). Also at the meal is photographer Claudia (Amy Yasbeck) and her handsome husband, Isaac (Ryan Alosio) as well as chef Sam (Patrick Dempsey) and his pregnant fiancée, Sammie (Christine Taylor). They are exchanging banter when another guest arrives solo. That would be author Art (Jason Alexander), a new client of Joel's. In short order, the "sweetness and light" of the dinner blows away, as Art dishes on the subject of marital fidelity. It is this writer's opinion that men will never be faithful, even in marriages where the wife is greatly loved. Uh oh. Virtriol is soon being flung, for Claudia, especially, is very angry at Art's smug ideas and egotistical personality. Before long, the party is over. Once the guests have gone, Joel and Sophie get into further discussion of fidelity, because Joel cheated on his first wife with Sophe. The other couples arrive at their homes pretty confused also. It isn't too long before Art's theories are tested, as Joel frequents an oriental "massage parlor", Sophie garners the attention of an anatomy prof (Charles Shaunessy) and Isaac meets a lovely antiques dealer when he shops for an anniversary gift for Claudia. Also, Sammie is busy redecorating her home for the baby while Sam spends long hours at the restaurant, taking breaks to visit the triple X theaters and read his porn magazines. Then, too, Joel has to bail his brother Reuben (Adam Rifin, who wrote and directed the film) out of another tangle with the law and a chance second encounter between Claudia and Art, of all people, may lead to something, too. Whoowee, are the writer's ideas correct? If not for the wonderful cast, I would have turned this sleazy flick off after the first 30. Silverman, Dempsey, Taylor and the others are THE only reason to keep watching, for they try to elevate the material into something watchable. It's a no go. Yes, there may be something to the difficulties of faithfulness in marriage but this seems to delve into deviancy, too. The sets, costumes, and camera work are fine but nothing spectacular while the script and direction are sometimes interesting but mostly offensive. In brief, don't bother to look this one up, especially if you are a newlywed. It's a depressing film with very little to offer the viewing public.
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