Guest Author - Amy Mable
Richard Cooper Chris Rock
Nikki Tru Kerry Washington
Brenda Cooper Gina Torres
George Steve Buscemi
Directed by: Chris Rock
Rating: R for pervasive language and some sexual content
Based on the French film originally titled "Love in the Afternoon", also titled "Chloe In The Afternoon"
In this movie of marriage and temptation, Richard Cooper has been married for seven years to Brenda. They have 2 lovely children, a house in the suburbs and a mostly sex-free marriage. Richard has a successful career as an investment banker and is settled in to his life. He and his wife are in marriage counseling and while she reveals she's tired, tired, tired - Richard is frustrated, frustrated, frustrated.
Every beautiful woman he passes is a source of fantasy. He feels defenseless; upset with his wife for sending him out into the world in this condition. Yet, he doesn't pursue an affair. Unfortunately, he's quite vulnerable to one pursuing him.
Nikki Tru stops in at Richard's office one afternoon. Nikki's an old girlfriend of one of Richard's friends from his single days. Nikki is single, sultry and flirty with Richard, who persists in telling himself and others that they are 'just old friends'.
Nikki eventually becomes a threat to Richard's professional and personal reputation as she slinks into his office day after day. She begins to need Richard to help her sort out the messes in her life. Her seemingly innocent requests for help and guidance pull Richard into some fairly dangerous situations – to his marriage, his career and his physical well-being.
Richard's coworker George, a man perfectly comfortable with his own cheating nature, hints that Nikki is playing Richard and in turn – Richard is playing with fire. Nikki always seems to need saving, and Richard enjoys being needed. George warns Richard that he's taking some big risks with his happiness, his job and his good woman. Richard brushes it off, irritated that George's input threatens the intoxicating afternoon vacations from his real life.
Brenda seems destined to be the clueless wife that makes the wrong choice at every given opportunity. Porsche or minivan exhibit at the car show? Minivan. Purchase a thong or full cotton briefs? Cotton briefs, no question. It's as though she has no idea her husband is still a man.
This is one of those movies where you wince at the choices Brenda & Richard make, feeling sure they are heading full speed for a disastrous cliff. At the same time, it's an honest portrayal of exactly how infidelity can find someone who isn't looking for it. All the good intentions in the world are hard pressed to compete with the thrill of infatuation.
Eventually Richard is faced with the ultimate test of his character. At last there is a conversation with his wife that is long overdue. Most of the movie is a train wreck – you can't look away - yet the ending is unrealistically simple in wrapping up the loose ends. The temptations and weaknesses of Richard were realistic, while the long awaited conversation with his wife was a farce.
This movie missed its potential by providing a ridiculous ending in the form of an impromptu duet between Richard and Brenda. Yes, a musical duet. They sorted all their issues out in a few lines of song.
Theater Release Date: March 16, 2007
DVD Release Date: August 7, 2007
I paid for the rental of this movie with my own funds.