Consenting Adults

12 Jul

Richard Parker (played by Kevin Kline) is a composer working in advertising. He works with his artistic wife, Priscilla (by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and they have a happy life with their teenage daughter Lori (by Kimberly McCullough). One day, a curious new neighbour, Eddie Otis (by Kevin Spacey), an insurance salesman, appears at the house next door. He quickly introduces himself to Richard and Priscilla and then by way of some neighbourly drinks sessions, dinner dates and entertaining outings, he and his wife Kay (by Rebecca Miller) become a major part of the Parkers’ social lives. Priscilla is particularly fascinated by Eddie and Kevin is enchanted by Kay – a marvellous torch singer who has modestly hidden her talents up until now. Eddie is constantly and mischieviously involving Richard in boyish banter and he persuades Richard that an evening of wife-swapping would be a great idea – just as a one off, just for the excitement. Richard, reluctant at first, is persuaded by Kay’s appeal and agrees. This is when things start to get intriguing and out of control at the same time – there’s something a little disturbing about Eddie, and Richard is about to find out just what that is …

This movie is a bit better than average. The plot is sufficiently involved to keep a viewer engaged and on the whole the performances are good. The story twists and turns very well and there are some surprises in the telling, which make it more than simply a rom-com gone wrong. In terms of each of the cast, the movie really belongs to Kevin Spacey – he totally owns every scene he features in. Nobody can do “boyish charm and irritating arrogance tinged with an edge of disturbing terror” quite like Spacey. Kevin Kline is also a very strong performer – any time he is required to act with intensity to portray happiness, dismay, confusion, fear or terror, he does this very well. However, he just doesn’t do “tough guy” very well at all. As a result, the scenes where he is required to do that are very weak indeed. There is one patch towards the end of the movie where the drama loses its intensity quite abruptly – and it never really recovers from this until the final scenes, where Kevin Spacey saves it once again. The women are fine, but that’s probably about all – the eightie’s fashions and styling may bring a hint of nostalgia to mind, or just a giggle!!. Forest Whitaker appears in a support role as private investigator, David Duttonville. Overall though, this move is good and entertaining.

Made in 1992. Directed by Alan J.Pakula

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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Movies


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