Nothing Sacred

1997


Darin has a good job and a beautiful wife, but he finds himself longing for a different kind of love. He looks at his single friends' lives with envy. His buddy Matt dates different women constantly, although none have yet met his extremely high expectations. ["What was wrong with Heather? I found three John Grisham novels on her bookcase!"] Matt, on the other hand, wishes he could have a more stable existence, like the one Darin has. They both have a close friend in Max (short for Maxine), who once dated Darin, and turned down Matt. Darin finds himself drawn to Max and away from his wife, while his friends Matt and Kevin ["I'd pay $20,000, no make that $50,000 to sleep with this jeans model on this bus shelter"] are angered by his betrayal of Natalie, his wife.

This was one of those talky movies about attractive young people in exotic locations dissecting every nuance of their love lives. It was shot entirely in San Francisco and it captures very well the pool halls and waterfront, as well as the apartments with ceilings so high they could exist nowhere else. It says some things about how everyone knows that each partner has a selection of lines that they use when dating. There are many examples of extremely hilarious and unique dialogue, which isn't surprising because if you talk for 90 minutes straight, you're bound to come up with at least a couple of gems.
Kevin: When did you stop believing in God?
Darin: It seemed to be a natural part of growing up. First the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, then Santa Claus, Bono, and finally God.

Matt: She's like a really great amusement park when you want to stay until the park closes and ride all the rides until they kick you out. Well last night, I definitely rode all the rides.
Kevin: All the rides?
Matt: All the rides.
Kevin: No, I mean, ALL the rides?
Matt: NO! I don't want to ride that ride.

Kevin: You can't be friends with women. When Harry Met Sally was the definitive word on the subject, remember?

Matt [to Darin's nephew]: You're at the schoolyard and you see a beauty, a plain-jane, and a ugly girl talking together. You want the honey, so you walk over and talk to which one?
Nephew: The goddess?
Matt: No, no, no. The plain jane. Then you look over and say to the honey, 'you look cute today, I don't care what the others say.' We've been over this a thousand times.
Kevin [to nephew]: That one's really counter-intuitive, I know.

Mixed in with the good are some tiring and long-winded speeches about man's possibility in achieving monogamy, and friendship. Provenza is a charismatic enough actor, but he's saddled with dialogue that makes him both unappealing and self-centered. He's enraged too easily and gestures wildly to make a point. Matt is the blonde hunky guy and he has fun with his character. The women are secondary, except for a few instances of speech-making. I enjoyed its San Francisco feel, and laughed quite a bit, but afterwards I had nothing to think about, except I still want to live there.

Shown as part of Cinequest VIII, The San Jose Film Festival.

Darin ... Paul Provenza ["Northern Exposure" the greatest dramedy in television history, Strictly Business]
Matt ... Stephen Dunham
Kevin ... John Gloria
Shannon Day
Krista Taylor
Ria Snyder
Corie Henninger [Copycat, Metro]
Erin MacArthur
Caterer Assistant ... Karen Duffy [Malcolm X, "TV Nation", Reality Bites]
Man On Phone ... Penn Jillette [Toy Story, "Penn & Teller's Home Invasion"]
Caterer ... Don Novello [Spy Magazine, Tucker: The Man And His Dream, New York Stories, The Godfather, Part III, "Tales Of The City"]
Clothing Store Customer ... Wierd Al Yankovic [Johnny Dangerously, Tapeheads, The Naked Gun, The Naked Gun 2-1/2: The Smell Of Fear, The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult]
Edited by Dan Hayes
Cinematography by Joplin Wu
Written and Directed by David Elliot and Mark Huppin

Theater
Color
USA

This Was Written January 30, 1998



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