45. Sex, Lies, and Videotape

I vividly remember this film making a splash in the media when I was a boy, but the title alone prevented me from seeing it.  There isn’t even any nudity!

Andie MacDowell stars as Ann, an obsessive housewife who has gradually distanced herself from her yuppie scum husband John (Peter Gallagher) who is carrying on an affair with his wife’s sister Cynthia (Laura San Giacomo).  As if that weren’t complicated enough, his friend Graham (James Spader) from college comes to crash with them while he figures out his next step in life.  Tension immediately increases when the two old friends have nothing in common anymore, with John being an uptight and shallow lawyer and Graham being a rolling stone with no direction home and zero desire for responsibility.

Before Graham moves out on his own he develops a strange bond of camaraderie (among an obvious mutual attraction) with Ann as they discuss their personal lives.  Ann eventually discovers that he has amassed a giant collection of videotapes where he interviews women about their sexual history, desires and activities.  Once Ann informs her sister about her new friend and his bizarre hobby, she goes to visit him and ends up doing an interview as well.  The web gets increasingly tangled and eventually it becomes impossible for any of them to hide their secrets anymore.

Steadily scripted with layers of mystery and intrigue, it’s hard not to like this movie.  James Spader is so wonderfully creepy it is hard to tell if he’s just a harmless pervert or a mass murdering serial killer.  Andie MacDowell also plays her role to perfection as a closed off housewife teetering on the edge.  Easily my favorite performance of hers I’ve yet to see.

Enthralling, intense, and captivating till the very end.  4.5 stars out of 5!

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Categories: 100 Films

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One Comment on “45. Sex, Lies, and Videotape”

  1. August 11, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    this sounds like a great movie…im sorry i missed it! i think i need to see this.

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