Both Kristin Davies and Dermot Mulroney have done decently in their acting careers. Davis had Sex and the City (which is returning for another season, God help us) and Mulroney had quite the successful stint in the rom-com space, with movies like My Best Friend’s Wedding and The Family Stone under his belt. They aren’t household names, but they also aren’t so completely off the radar that people aren’t able to recognise them in a film.
So why on Earth did they decide to do this godawful film? I think we all know the answer to that one — who wouldn’t want to be paid for a sleepwalking gig?
The film begins with Davis’ Mary Morrison being coaxed back into writing by her agent and his associate. Mary is adamant that she doesn’t want to return to that space anymore, that she is quite content to play mom and homemaker. This all changes when her husband Tom (Mulroney) tells her that he lost half of their reserves through an investment or something – the sound editing was so weird here so forgive me if I don’t know the exact details of his financial indiscretion. So now, the $2 million book advance suddenly looks real attractive (excuse me while I dust off the novel I wrote that’s just sitting in my thumb drive), and she takes up the offer.
However, because she needs the time and space to write, Mary has to find someone to take care of her children while she goes to town on the typewriter (I lied, she uses pen and paper, meaning that she’s surely some kind of maniac). She finds the perfect nanny in Greer Grammer’s Grace, who Mary thinks is too prim and prudish to ever seduce her husband, even if the young woman is very beautiful. Oh, Mary, you poor deluded soul.
Can I just say, for a supposed erotic thriller, there is nothing sexy about this. The sex scenes, real or imagined, are so awkward and cringey, and watching Tom have to conjure up some lustful feelings for Grace is just straight up creepy (Mulroney looked like he had been compelled against his will, perhaps a case of the imperius curse). The Crush, starring Alicia Silverstone and Cary Elwes, as trashy as it was, did a better job of fleshing out the forbidden romance between an older man and younger girl.
As Mary gets deeper into the world she crafts on the page, reality starts to blur with fiction, we are no longer able to tell what is imagined and what’s real, and truthfully, we don’t really care. This film is close to two hours, and with a runtime like that, there shouldn’t be a struggle to find some measure of conflict. Instead, we get protracted moments of Mary smoking a cigar (a rather on the nose phallic symbol) and writing out her novel, and waves crashing eerily on a bunch of rocks.
Thank God for the fast forward button, which eased my suffering a ton. Also, can someone please check on Mulroney please? I think he may have suffered more than me.
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It's like someone looked up the formula of an erotic thriller and decided it was too much work, so they made this film instead.
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