Imagine “Sex and the City” from the male perspective, throw in some profoundly mediocre scripting and a pool of actors who are attractive enough but not exactly volcanoes of charisma and you’re not far from the lackluster “Knots.” Greg Lombardo’s seriocomedy about three Manhattan guys’ problematic stabs at love and relationships delivers some mild laughs but has a hackneyed feel, especially when weighed against punchier explorations of sexual politics like “Roger Dodger.” Drab, underlit visuals also will limit the indie feature to undemanding cable viewers.
List of characters is like the dregs of sitcoms past: Jake (Michael Leydon Campbell) is the nice-guy loser who never gets the girl; Cal (John Stamos) is the fashion photographer on a steady diet of supermodel tail; and Dave (Scott Cohen) is the neutral middleweight, whose marriage is approaching a two-year rut.
Catalyst for crisis within the trio is successful lawyer and sexual velociraptor Lily (Paulina Porizkova). She first hits on Dave, who steers her toward Jake, resulting in a double date with Dave’s wife Greta (Annabeth Gish). Soon after, Dave comes home to find Lily and Greta in bed together. Crushed by the infidelity, Dave moves in with Jake and gets taken under Cal’s wing on a booty quest that yields nothing. When Dave unexpectedly gets served with divorce papers, he storms Lily’s officein a hostile encounter that ends with sex.
While Lily continues sleeping with both Dave and Greta, further complications arise when Cal’s longtime girlfriend Emily (Tara Reid) returns to town and is unwittingly informed by Jake of her partner’s serial philandering. Emily bounces for comfort into a friendship with Jake, who falls hard for her, just in time for Cal to win her back with a marriage proposal and a promise of reform. But Lily steps in to expose Cal’s untrustworthy nature, causing major fallout at the altar.
Writers Lombardo and Neil Turitz appear to have one eye on a sophisticated comedy model and the other on a trashier variant with tarty blonde flight attendants and dudes salivating over the prospect of spicing up a marriage with lesbian action. With the exception of Porizkova, who’s far too stiff to be credible as the seduce-and-destroy machine, the cast is likable but saddled with bland stereotypes in a comedy generally lacking in freshness or originality. Tech work is undistinguished.