This movie has a pretty transparent theme, one focused on the power of seduction and, making selfish decisions based on lust and raw attraction. It’s yet another film on being unfaithful, and trying to find a deeper meaning or purpose to its characters was difficult. Ted Swenson (Stanley Tucci) is a college professor at a small liberal arts school who wrote a celebrated first novel. The pressure for what comes next has been weighing on him for about 10 years, without any results (a story line that seems a bit exhausted). He is jaded about his colleagues and his students, who he views as untalented and boring. His marriage to Sherrie (Kyra Sedgwick), however, seems to bring him happiness, and they are portrayed as a couple with a strong and healthy relationship in all aspects. But, alas, the ‘dark’ student with childhood issues (Addison Timlin as Angela Argo) speaks up in class and lures Ted in with her praise of his work and her powerful writing. Is that really all it takes? I couldn’t buy in to why he was so swayed by her, why he risked his tenured career and loving marriage. Why he was so complacent to give in to her blatant come ons even after he weakly pushed back most times (although these scenes were believable at least, witnessing his slow, hesitant consent). The film didn’t delve much into what he was dealing with, or what he needed from her and thought he could get. Tucci played his character well, but his seductress was too lame and predictable to find any connection with. In the midst of the sexual harassment scandals of late, it’s a timely topic if not a little tired.
Should you see it? Only if you aren’t expecting anything too compelling. —K.W.
View at Landmark Tivoli Theatre
Photo courtesy of Great Point Media