Most romantic film #25: sex, lies, and videotape (1989)

Aside from being the indie film that put director Stephen Soderbergh on the map, this is a story about four people and, well “sex, lies, and videotape.”

Oh, and it features James Spader, post-John Hughes and pre-Boston Legal.

The story revolves around the inter-relationships between a married couple, Ann (Andie MacDowell) and John (Peter Gallagher), Ann’s younger sister Cynthia (Laura San Giacomo), and Jon’s friend from college, Graham (Spader) whose surprise visit changes everything.

At the start of the film, Jon and Cynthia are having an affair, and Ann is completely ignorant of their relationship. Ann and Cynthia’s relationship is difficult, because Ann is conventional and Cynthia is a free spirit (or so it seems at the start of the film). Graham has no job, no possessions, and is trying to live minimally in order to make up for past lies and betrayals.

It is an interesting and simple story about what can happen when lies start to unravel. It is an adult film (for and about adults) and also leaves much to the imagination, which makes it great to watch. There is nothing spectacular, nothing showy about this film. But… worth watching to see how the narrative unravels.


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