Intimate Betrayal

The premise of the indie "Intimate Betrayal" is relatively standard melodrama. On the eve of a young man's wedding he has second thoughts about marriage, and circumstances provide him the opportunity to stray. In the absence of anything more compelling, the tired scenario produces mediocre results that don't amount to a hill of beans on any commercial front.

With:
Mack - Dwier Brown
Katie - Jessica Hecht
Charlie Dunn - Richard Edson
Shelley - Christi Conaway
Paul - James Eckhouse
Claire - Annabelle Gurwitch
Steve - Jeff Kahn
Kevin - P.J. Pesce
Josh - Neil Nash

The premise of the indie “Intimate Betrayal” is relatively standard melodrama. On the eve of a young man’s wedding he has second thoughts about marriage, and circumstances provide him the opportunity to stray. In the absence of anything more compelling, the tired scenario produces mediocre results that don’t amount to a hill of beans on any commercial front.

Mack (Dwier Brown) is engaged to Katie (Jessica Hecht) and, as the film opens, is prepping for the inevitable pre-vows bachelor party. There will be alcohol, a stripper and considerable braggadocio. The unexpected element is the arrival of Charlie (Richard Edson), an estranged friend who has some unfinished personal business with the groom-to-be.

That business appears to be an effort to reconcile. Mack even invites Charlie to stay the evening in his cabin and attend the ceremony. Charlie accepts the offer and brings along his girlfriend, Shelley (Christi Conaway). But in the middle of the night, when neither Mack nor Shelley can get to sleep, a latenight conversation leads to heated passion. The next morning brings an emotional explosion.

The problem with “Intimate Betrayal” is more than just a hackneyed script. The film isn’t concerned with plumbing the emotional depths of betrayal or the fear of commitment. The story’s shocker is that the situation is an elaborate setup to exact revenge. But that twist is never properly exploited, arriving much too late to be anything more than a gimmick.

The cast is pleasant, if undistinguished, with the exception of Edson, who’s woefully miscast as a writer with pretensions. Tech credits are also unremarkable, though in no way embarrassing. Although pic has received some limited theatrical exposure, it’s unquestionably latenight fodder for an undemanding cable crowd.

Intimate Betrayal

Production: An Arrow Entertainment release of a Padded Cell Pictures production. Produced by Sara Sackner. Co-producer, George Maratea. Directed by Andrew Behar. Screenplay, Sara Sackner.

Crew: Camera (DuArt color), Hamid Shams; editor, Behar; music, Peter Fish; art direction, Maython Vane; sound, Kip Gynn; assistant director, Anthony Dimino. Reviewed on videocassette, L.A., Dec. 17, 1996. Running time: 82 MIN.

With: Mack - Dwier Brown
Katie - Jessica Hecht
Charlie Dunn - Richard Edson
Shelley - Christi Conaway
Paul - James Eckhouse
Claire - Annabelle Gurwitch
Steve - Jeff Kahn
Kevin - P.J. Pesce
Josh - Neil Nash

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