If it were possible for a film to suffer multiple personality disorder, this debut feature from writers-directors Anthony Stark and Sean Smith would make a fascinating case study. On the surface, it's all about a lifelong friendship torn apart by
infidelity. Flip it over, and you've got a tale of jealousy, spite and repressed homoerotic desire worthy of Patricia Highsmith. Friends since childhood, Ben (Rob Morrow) and Adam (Jake Weber) went to the same schools (Andover, the Columbia), but their emotional lives have been very different.
Adam, now a playwright, has had it easy: He married his college sweetheart, Nina (Claire Forlani), the woman to whom he lost his virginity and his one true love. But for Ben, a successful corporate lawyer, it's been one painful breakup after another; his current marriage to a levelheaded
professional (Jayne Brooke, excellent in a thankless role) is stable, but Ben's life lacks any real heat. That is, until one Thanksgiving weekend in the country when he and Nina exchange a kiss that leads to an affair that then leads to everyone's undoing. Filmmakers Stark and Smith are themselves
lifelong friends who no doubt intended to create a film about the ties that bind; as such, the results are only so-so. But the film is filled with unusual moments, and you don't have to be Sigmund Freud to know the score. That eye patch Adam sports isn't just an affectation, but the result of
something that happened when the boys were young, something Ben would rather not talk about. And with the stakes so high and the passion so low-grade, it's either a case of poor actor chemistry between Morrow and Forlani, or a carefully controlled impersonation of two people who care more about
who they're screwing than who they're screwing. It all depends on which movie you're watching.
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- Released: 1999
- Rating: NR
- Review: If it were possible for a film to suffer multiple personality disorder, this debut feature from writers-directors Anthony Stark and Sean Smith would make a fascinating case study. On the surface, it's all about a lifelong friendship torn apart by infideli… (more)