Patricia Charbonneau Reviews

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Review OUT OF PRINT
Better Than Chocolate

Review When a pair of life-long friends see their fast-lane lives heading nowhere, they take a detour... into an erotically charged, psychologically perilous adventure of the heart. After years of upward mobility, best friends Jeff (William Petersen) and Marty (Gary Cole) have achieved the American dream and ended up disillusioned and restless. They concoct an overseas business trip meant to exorcisetheir demons, but it soon escalates into a full-fledged escapeto a spectacularly remote tropicalisland where they both fall in love with the same free-spirited beauty (Sheryl Lee). Throwing caution to the wind, they make the fateful decision to shed their families back home and set out to create a sexual and spiritual utopia, observed and counseled by a wry Buddhist monk (Terence Stamp). But there's trouble in this sensual paradise... and it will ultimately test the bonds of friendship and the limits of love for each of them.
Rendez-Vous

Review In a classic instance of a film's reach exceeding its grasp, Kiss the Sky has the outline of greatness about it. The final result, though, is something less: a deeply flawed but genuinely interesting work. Nothing wrong with that.

More ambitious and less clichéd than American Beauty, Kiss the Sky stars William L. Petersen and Gary Cole as long-time friends evaluating how they arrived in middle age feeling dispirited and empty. Desperate to reconnect with their lost vitality, they pursue the obvious by zipping off to a tropical island to chase the local girls. Instead, they both end up falling for the same woman (Sheryl Lee), who in turn loves both of them. Opting for the unorthodox, the trio becomes a threesome with little internal jealousy, deep feelings shared all around, and an unspoken conviction that they have stumbled together into a sacred chapter in their lives.

If that scenario sounds merely provocative or mundane, the faith that screenwriter Eric Lerner demonstrates in his characters' quasi-religious certainty inspires a different reading. Not that Lerner and veteran television director Roger Young don't blow it on a few counts: the superfluous presence of Terence Stamp as a Zen monk, and a dead-end subplot about building a sanctuary for other soul pilgrims. But there's enough moral authenticity and adult experience between the lines to make this a compelling experience. --Tom Keogh


The Extra Man

Review OUT OF PRINT
Law & Order Season 1

Review When a pair of life-long friends see their fast-lane lives heading nowhere, they take a detour... into an erotically charged, psychologically perilous adventure of the heart. After years of upward mobility, best friends Jeff (William Petersen) and Marty (Gary Cole) have achieved the American dream and ended up disillusioned and restless. They concoct an overseas business trip meant to exorcisetheir demons, but it soon escalates into a full-fledged escapeto a spectacularly remote tropicalisland where they both fall in love with the same free-spirited beauty (Sheryl Lee). Throwing caution to the wind, they make the fateful decision to shed their families back home and set out to create a sexual and spiritual utopia, observed and counseled by a wry Buddhist monk (Terence Stamp). But there's trouble in this sensual paradise... and it will ultimately test the bonds of friendship and the limits of love for each of them.
Law & Order: Los Angeles Season 1

Review In a classic instance of a film's reach exceeding its grasp, Kiss the Sky has the outline of greatness about it. The final result, though, is something less: a deeply flawed but genuinely interesting work. Nothing wrong with that.

More ambitious and less clichéd than American Beauty, Kiss the Sky stars William L. Petersen and Gary Cole as long-time friends evaluating how they arrived in middle age feeling dispirited and empty. Desperate to reconnect with their lost vitality, they pursue the obvious by zipping off to a tropical island to chase the local girls. Instead, they both end up falling for the same woman (Sheryl Lee), who in turn loves both of them. Opting for the unorthodox, the trio becomes a threesome with little internal jealousy, deep feelings shared all around, and an unspoken conviction that they have stumbled together into a sacred chapter in their lives.

If that scenario sounds merely provocative or mundane, the faith that screenwriter Eric Lerner demonstrates in his characters' quasi-religious certainty inspires a different reading. Not that Lerner and veteran television director Roger Young don't blow it on a few counts: the superfluous presence of Terence Stamp as a Zen monk, and a dead-end subplot about building a sanctuary for other soul pilgrims. But there's enough moral authenticity and adult experience between the lines to make this a compelling experience. --Tom Keogh



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