A sexually stagnant couple discovers that they perform better with a voyeur present in this smirky bondage romp. Despite a talented cast, this mirthless stage adaptation is annoyingly implausible.
Manhattan office worker Jessica (Kari Wuhrer) and her blue-collar boyfriend Billy (Ron Eldard) are bothered by his impotence in the face of their attempts to get pregnant. Jessica agrees to a "business-only" meeting with lecherous married boss Arthur (Stanley Tucci) at her apartment on a Friday
night when Billy is supposed to be out of town. The sexually frustrated Jessica eagerly gives in to Arthur's advances, until Billy unexpectedly pops in with a camera. After taking incriminating pictures, he ties Arthur to a chair. To his and Jessica's delight, he finds the experience has a
sexually rejuvenating effect. Later, while Jessica is out, Billy uses the photos to blackmail Arthur (who is married to his boss's daughter) into signing a check for $75,000 to fund Billy's dream of buying a tour boat. He tells him they will let him go on Monday morning, after the bank is open and
Billy can cash the check.
Worried that someone may come looking for him, Jessica and Billy take Arthur to a New Jersey motel for the weekend. Jessica tries to free Arthur after she becomes afraid that Billy may kill him, but he refuses to go when she says she won't come with him. Come Monday morning, Billy goes to the bank
but instead tears up the check. He returns to release Arthur, who refuses to go; having confessed that his marriage has actually ended, he still harbors hopes for Jessica. But after he wounds Billy with his own gun, he realizes that Jessica and Billy love each other and leaves, alone.
If the sole problem with SEX AND THE OTHER MAN were the obviousness of its stage origins, one might be able to overlook the claustrophobia it induces. Unfortunately, it is based on a dreadful Paul Weitz play, Captive, which was launched somewhere in the absurdist atmosphere of Murray
Schisgal-land; this film translation self-destructs upon takeoff. Director Karl Slovin is to blame for staging this comedy with detrimental long pauses in between dialogue, and for generally mishandling his actors, but he can't take the rap for the pretentious bedroom farce bouncing on the
bedsprings before us. Wuhrer is a sweet but recessive actress, so her contribution is negligible; the irrepressible Tucci tries to whip up the desired Edward Albee edge, but can't overcome the risible conception. Blustering artfully as if he were auditioning for a Rabe-Mamet-Shepard marathon,
Eldard gives an unbearable performance. Weitz and Slovin try but fail to cross a John Guare one-act with The Desperate Hours, subjecting the viewer to a nightmarish recap of exposition, an ongoing desecration of logic, and dialogue with all the tang of underbrewed herbal tea. Made in 1995, SEX AND
THE OTHER MAN was released to home video in 1997. (Violence, extreme profanity, sexual situations, substance abuse, nudity.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: A sexually stagnant couple discovers that they perform better with a voyeur present in this smirky bondage romp. Despite a talented cast, this mirthless stage adaptation is annoyingly implausible. Manhattan office worker Jessica (Kari Wuhrer) and her blue… (more)