| A shy audit manager, Jonathan (Scotsman Ewan McGregor), meets Wyatt (Aussie Hugh Jackman), a slick con artist, while working late at a client’s corporate offices. They develop a friendship after sharing a joint and playing a set of mixed doubles.
Jonathan accidentally ends up with Wyatt’s cell phone and starts receiving calls from anonymous women. Their opening line is “Are you free tonight?” He finally accepts an offer. He has a late night rendezvous with a beautiful woman at an upscale hotel in Manhattan.
Wyatt had access to The List, a mobile-phone-based sex club. Successful men and women with similar sexual urges and without the time for scheduling dates in advance are attracted to the concept of “intimacy without intricacy.”
The simple rules are no names, business talk or rough stuff. The initiator pays the tab.
This enticing premise is merely foreplay for a preposterous and predictable heist caper. Bait and switch tactics manipulate both Jonathan and the audience. After becoming addicted to no-strings copulation, Jonathan falls for a vulnerable blonde (Michelle Williams from “Brokeback Mountain”), who has the letter “S” dangling from the key chain on her purse. She is the catalyst in a blackmail scheme to wire transfer dirty money in secret accounts.
Credibility is stretched thin in a battle of wits where unlikely events start piling up. The drab lighting and shoddy interiors give this picture a sleazy, inferior quality. The main characters are one-note stereotypes.
The movie has the eye-catching, erotic allure of “Eyes Wide Shut” and the screenplay is almost a carbon copy of “Derailed,” which starred Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen.
The movie proceeds at a snail’s pace. The parade of attractive, scantily clad women includes Natasha Henstridge, Maggie Q and Charlotte Rampling.
This escapist diversion with no redeeming value is better suited for DVD viewing. Slow motion will prolong the steamy sex scenes, while fast-forward capability will allow the viewer to skip through the rest of the distracting smoke and mirrors.
Keith Cohen, The Movie Guy