A flighty sex farce that flip-flops between bittersweet and just plain silly, SLEEPING WITH STRANGERS unfolds in a tiny village where neighboring inns compete fiercely.
One is run by ambitious yuppie Mark (Shawn Alex Thompson), the other by dogged but penniless Daniel (Neil Duncan), who inherited the place from his late wife and struggles to keep it afloat out of sentiment. Into town drives a limo containing infamously promiscuous movie starlet Jenny Dole
(Adrienne Shelly) and her boy-toy of the moment, brain-fried rock idol Tod Warren (Scott McNeil). Drunk and debauched, he lodges in Mark's hotel, while she checks into Daniel's place and gossip-hungry reporters swarm over the property. Each innkeeper knows the value of publicity from hosting a
celebrity love-nest, and both scheme to unite Tod and Jenny together under one roof. Complicating matters: Jenny finds Daniel an attractive novelty and tries to seduce him. Her cynical philosophy of coldly casual sex only repels her prey, for Daniel is scrupulously faithful to his live-in fiancee
Teri (Kymberley Huffman). But all this time Teri's been cheating on him with rival Mark and secretly works to ruin Daniel's hotel. And now Tod starts lusting after Teri.
The quibbling quintet change partners--or pretend to--numerous times in a cutesy (rather than erotic) narrative anchored to the ground mainly by Neil Duncan, in the movie's only three-dimensional role. There's genuine nobility, and ultimately serious hurt, in Daniel that sets his character apart
from these horny goofballs and stereotypes, though Shelly (TRUST, THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH) belatedly gets some subtler shadings herself. The plot hinges heavily on folks spying through keyholes or listening through doors one minute, then unable to perceive what's going on right under their very
noses the next, but by the 90-minute mark the filmmakers weave a melancholy curtain-closer in which Daniel has it all--fame, a packed house, Teri--but he doesn't want them any more, not a bit. Then a fairy-tale finale, with Daniel and now-monogamous Jenny taking off together, seems anticlimactic
and forced. Handsomely shot entirely on location in Sooke, British Columbia, SLEEPING WITH STRANGERS premiered in the US on home video in 1994. (Sexual situations, adult situations, substance abuse, profanity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: R
- Review: A flighty sex farce that flip-flops between bittersweet and just plain silly, SLEEPING WITH STRANGERS unfolds in a tiny village where neighboring inns compete fiercely. One is run by ambitious yuppie Mark (Shawn Alex Thompson), the other by dogged but p… (more)