Thursday, May 10, 2012

sex, lies, and videotape

A repressed housewife's sleazy husband is carrying on an affair with her much more liberated sister. One day they are paid a visit by the husband's college chum, whom he hasn't seen in nine years, and whose odd fetishistic penchant throws a wrench into the whole backwards arrangement. Steven Soderbergh's directorial debut helped jumpstart the independent film movement and despite of its scintillating title and set-up is an intelligent and extraordinarily well made piece of adult oriented entertainment. The cast is excellent, with Andie MacDowell and Laura San Giacomo playing sisters of opposite polarity and to great effect while Peter Gallagher portrays that kind of yuppie scumbag he does so well. Then there is James Spader, who is absolutely dynamic as Gallagher's visiting college mate. While watching this, I was thinking to myself, would these films ever even exist without his involvement? "sex, lies, and videotape" is smart and involving, and even more so when the heart of the film is revealed. Soderbergh has gone on to become one of our most versatile directors, but his talent was evident from the outset with this brilliant and well constructed film.