Beau Bridges plays a professional tennis player who is both bemused by and indifferent to his fame and fortune; he's cocky when he's riding high but, when faced with a stronger opponent on the court or when dealing with his long-time coach's death, he becomes detached and morose. Mired in self-alienation, he wakes up one morning after a party in an empty swimming pool (it's that kind of movie). Maud Adams plays Bridges' girlfriend, a successful photographer, and she puts up with a lot (after he treats her badly for missing a parking space, she still tells him she loves him). This introspective drama, directed by James Frawley and written by Floyd Mutrux, is handsomely-produced, artistically shot (by David Butler) and features some flashy editing, but it doesn't add up to much. Mutrux's literate, sometimes sharp and sometimes moving dialogue is far stronger than his plot or his characters. The writer gives Gilbert Roland (as the aging coach) a terrific speech, reminiscing about the good old days of the 1930s, but feckless Bridges is not someone we warm to. Adams looks like a saint (a very beautiful saint) for staying with this man as long as she does. Frawley has attentive eyes--he captures uncanny little bits of life going on around the central twosome that are refreshingly real--but he also sets up a dead-end dream sequence on a white tennis court with black walls that is fatuous padding, and he fails to dodge Mutrux's story clichés (including a tepid finish) so that they stick out obtrusively. ** from ****
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