Just One Time

What have I done? When his fiancée Amy (Carter) calls his bluff, Anthony (Janger) is desperate to find a way out of a promise.
dir Lane Janger
scr Lane Janger, Jennifer Vandever
with Lane Janger, Joelle Carter, Guillermo Diaz, Jennifer Esposito, David Lee Russek, Vincent Laresca, Domenick Lombardozzi, Susan Kellerman, Lynn Cohen
Alliance 99/US 3 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Expanded from a 6-minute short, Just One Time has the germ of a very clever idea. Yes, it's stretched to the breaking point, with little real substance to hold it together. But it's still a nicely made, well-acted film with some intriguing things to say. Just weeks from their wedding, lawyer Amy (Carter) is increasingly fed up with fireman Anthony's (Janger) persistent fantasy about a threesome with another woman. So she issues him a challenge: She'll go along with his fantasy if he goes along with hers. He of course thinks his ship has come in, but she calls his bluff and says he has to go out with a young guy (Diaz) who's completely smitten with him. Hilarity ensues, involving nights out at gay bars with Anthony's workmates (Russek, Laresca and Lombardozzi), the lesbian across the street (Esposito) and of course the parents of the bride and groom.

Yes, all the bluffing and counter-bluffing gets a bit old, especially as no one ever actually addresses the real issues here. But the film is cute and funny ... and it's played for laughs by a good cast. Director-cowriter-actor Janger holds things together nicely on all fronts (he's reminiscent of a taller, younger Sly Stallone), even as the story sags in the middle before shifting into all-out farce and then the requisite teary finale. In the end it gets a bit soggy and trite (main message: "Just trust me!"), but it's still warm and relatively engaging. And most importantly it shows considerable promise for the young cast and crew.

[adult themes, language] 1.Apr.00
14th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, April 00

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© 2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall