November 22, 2012 -- In Southern California, a movie sound engineer, Peter (played by John Krasinski of “It's Complicated”) starts working on a movie soundtrack with the director of the film. He's a busy guy but he makes time for this project because the director, Martine (Olivia Thirlby of “Dredd”), is hotter than an exploding stick of dynamite, and just as dangerous to his marriage. Peter plays with fire and he gets burned, but insists it is not his fault, just the same.
That is the tie that binds this film together: men who misunderstand sexual signals, behaving badly, and the women who are stuck dealing with their bruised egos. This has been going on for thousands of years, yet it seems nobody has learned anything. All of this has to be learned again, the hard way. It has always been so. It will ever be so.
Peter's sound studio is in his house, which used to belong to his wife's old boyfriend, a musician who used the same room to record music. Peter's wife, Julie (Rosemarie DeWitt) senses that something is going on between her husband and the smoking hot Martine and she warns him off. She says that even she is attracted to Martine, but she isn't about to let this new houseguest ruin her marriage. Even their teenaged daughter, Kolt (India Ennenga of “The Women”) is affected by the new guest. She has eyes for her father's assistant, David (Rhys Wakefield of “The Black Balloon”). However, David only has eyes for Martine.
Kolt receives unwated attention from her Italian tutor, Marcello (Emanuele Secci of “Angels and Demons”) and she is also admired by a school friend, the nerdy Avi (Sam Lerner). Julie wanders off at a party with an old flame in retaliation for her husband's affair. When the emotional fireworks go off, Marcello storms out of the house in anger, Peter shouts angrily at David, Julie orders Peter to send Martine away and Avi finally gets some luck. This is a fine mess for everyone involved. Both Marcello and Peter claim to have been the victim of women who are pretending to be interested in them. Clearly these claims are unfounded, but such are the follies of the male ego.
The unreasonable, childish behavior of some of the men and the relatively faultless nature of the women in the film made it look like this film was written by women, which it was (Writer-Director Ry Russo-Young and co-writer Lena Dunham). It isn't as bad as “Steel Magnolias,” but the whole project is pretty well steeped in estrogen. The acting by the women is good, especially by the wronged woman, Julia (Rosemarie DeWitt). Sam Lerner does a good job with the only male role with any depth to it, Ari. This film rates a C.
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