2018/11/16

Mediocre: Lies He Told

Lies He Told (1997)
Directed by Larry Elikann
Written by Jacqueline Feather, David Seidler, Ronald Parker
Produced by Clara George, Michael Jaffe, Howard Braunstein, Yvonne E. Chotzen
Starring Gary Cole, Karen Sillas, Teddi Siddall, Linda Goranson, Ron Lea, Nigel Bennett, George R. Robertson, Linda Sorensen
If the twin cumbrances of alimony and child support were less oppressive, or the secure lure of insurance fraud not so tantalizing, an expert, energetic lieutenant (Cole) assigned to train personnel of the USAF's Combat Control Team might not stage his death and forsake his CCT, nuclear family and ideal surburban lifestyle when taken with an overripe cut of office veal (Sillas) at a Halloween party. Neither might he reave banks to support his budding household when a slump in the housing market dents a cash flow generated by his successive, successfully profitable renovations, nor furtively launder his plunder by gambling, but c'est la vie! That illuded, captious, curious second wife shrewdly investigates her hubby's past, so to confront him with the truth and insure that neither of them could possibly live happily ever after. As in his every dramatic role, Cole's as blandly palatable as Elikann's perfectly pedestrian direction, while Sillas (whose genial greatness rivals that of Bruce Campbell) is too abrasive, mannish and common to be believed as the objet de désir and devoted spouse of a dynamo whose endeavors for their sake might be conservatively characterized as extraordinary. Feather's, Seidler's and Parker's fictionalization of an actual deserter's exploits is cleverly plotted, but slips during its third act into emotive inanity of a fashion distinctive to Lifetime's offerings. Ultimately, the moral to be gleaned from this story endorses neither disclosure nor fidelity, but for men childed, prosperous and otherwise it's writ large on the canvas of feminine folly: in a dysfunctional society to which your survival may contribute, never marry.

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