(director: Brent Huff; screenwriter: Drew Pillsbury; cinematographer: Giovani Lampassi; editor: Rick Fields; music: Tor Hyams; cast: Jake Weber (Bobby Davis), Maria Bello (Monica), David Thornton (Jerry), Michael McKean (Howard), Nick Chinlund (Paul), Shawn Huff (Katherine Davis); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Eric Gustavson/John Nelson; Velocity Home Entertainment; 2002)

“None of it is that funny or suspenseful, and all the characters are far from sympathetic.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An inane dark comedy about three Detroit salesmen turned loose in Los Angeles for a two week sales seminar. The title serves as the premise: cheating on your wife is supposedly fine if you are 100 miles away from her. Director Brent Huff (“Lap Dancing”) and writer Drew Pillsbury keep it amoral and late-night cable TV dumb, as it escalates from an extra-marital affair to blackmail to murder. None of it is that funny or suspenseful, and all the characters are far from sympathetic.

Sales manager Howard (Michael McKean) and his team of salesmen, Jerry (David Thornton) and Bob (Jake Weber),attend the boring seminars in L.A., and the married Howard and Jerry have no problem cheating on their wives at strip clubs and through escort services during their time off. But straight-arrow Bob wouldn’t think of cheating on his wife of 12 years Katherine (Shawn Huff), that is until sexy cocktail waitress and aspiring actress Monica (Maria Bello) seduces him for a one-night stand then blackmails him with a videotape of them in bed. The surprise is that Jerry orchestrated the seduction because he’s jealous of Bob, but gets cut out of the blackmail scheme when the untrustworthy Monica teams instead with the strongarm bartender (Nick Chinlund). Rather than telling his wife, Bobby boy loses our sympathy as a good guy when he seeks the advice of the worldly thrice divorced without paying alimony, Howard, to resolve things. Howard’s plan leaves a lot to be desired, as does the derivative pic.

REVIEWED ON 8/20/2009 GRADE: C+     https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/