Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Sleep With Me – Oh, would you say these three words?

What distinguishes Sleep With Me from other love-triangle comedies is the sharpness, naturalness and fluidity of the script, six different writers (Joe Keenan of Frasier and Desperate Housewives fame being one of them) worked on it, each handling a different scene, the freshness and immediacy of the dialogue being its result.

I was particularly impressed by the warmth and high quality of the performances; the flirty, childishness yet caustic nature of Sarah admirably portrayed by Meg Tilly (it is a shame that we do not see her that often), her impulsive kiss to Frank (Craig Sheffer) early on, just after her wedding with Joseph (Eric Stoltz) – a garden designer creating status symbols for rich people who do not appreciate or know how to take care of his creations, being the catalyst for the subsequent dislocation of the relationships between these formerly three inseparable friends, Sarah, Joseph and Frank.

In fact, a leisurely drive through a largely empty landscape by the three of them introduces us to Sleep With Me, where we see Sarah alternatively cuddling to Joseph and then to Frank, yet she is not being manipulative at all, instead she still has somewhat that relaxed attitude of childhood. Yet, this idyllic friendship is fraught with simmering sexual tension, as a prank played on Sarah by Joseph ends by them marrying, and to that fateful kiss between Sarah and Frank at the wedding, with Joseph vomiting his entrails out after drinking a bottle of vodka, and passing out, surrounded by their friends, eventually leads to the fragmentation of this ménage a trois.

Joseph increasingly swaggering attitude causes Sarah to distance from him, the schism reaching a critical point when she makes love with Frank after an eventful afternoon with their friends, whilst Joseph tries to seduce Amy (Amaryllis Borrego), one of their friends, yet he is unable to consummate it at the last moment. However, this breakage is somewhat mended on the last scene of the film, as we see Joseph running after Sarah when she stopped in the traffic lights at the end of the road, having fled from a party (featuring a cameo and memorable appearance by Quentin Tarantino, trying to convince that the script play of Top Gun is one of the greatest, as its subject was the homosexuality of the character), a surreal scene lit by the powerful lamps of what we presume is a police helicopter flying overhead.

The use of this group of friends poker games and other encounters as a kind of barometer of the temperature of the relationships between Sarah, Joseph and Frank, with the interpolation of text between crucial scene, is an inventive device which enlightens us to the state of their friendship.

A film about the unintended consequences of innocence, resentment, guilt, and redemption.

SLEEP WITH ME is out on sale in the UK on the 13th of June 2011, courtesy of Network Releasing.

Director: Rory Kelly
Writers: Duane Dell'Amico, Roger Hedden, Neal Jimenez, Joe Keenan, Rory Kelly and Michael Steinberg
Cast: Meg Tilly, Eric Stoltz, Craig Sheffer, Todd Field, Susan Traylor, Tegan West, Dean Cameron, Amaryllis Borrego, Thomas Gibson

SLEEP WITH ME (Cert. TBC) is a Network Releasing title
Running Time: 89 minutes
No.of Discs: 1
Screen Ratio: 16:9
RRP: £12.99
Catalogue no: 7953418A

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