Celebrated Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan (“Adoration” & “The Sweet Hereafter”) teams up with screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson (“Secretary”) for a misguided move into the mainstream with this out-dated erotic thriller based on the French film “Nathalie…” by Anne Fontaine.
Ageing gynaecologist Catherine (Julianne Moore) recruits fresh-faced call girl Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to discover if her college professor husband David (Liam Neeson) has been cheating on her with all too predictably disastrous results.
Acclaimed American actress Julianne Moore (“Far from Heaven” & “The End of the Affair”) holds the production together with a powerful central performance and generates perfect chemistry with a visibly haggard Liam Neeson, who lost his wife mid-production.
Burgeoning starlet Amanda Seyfried (“Alpha Dog” & “Nine Lives”) channels the spirit of Shannon Tweed as the bewildered sexpot without a back-story at the head of a supporting cast which includes slightly less bewildered turns from Max Thieriot and R.H. Thomson.
The director and his long-term cinematographer Paul Sarossy bring Toronto to life as a surprisingly atmospheric backdrop to a slow building set-up between the two female leads which is ultimately lost to a ludicrously melodramatic final act.
The eroticism drawn from such classic fare as “Single White Female” and “Poison Ivy” is done well enough but as is so often the case with this tricky sub-genre the story spins wildly out of control and ultimately provides more chortles than gasps.
“This business transaction, which is what this was, is over!”