I’ll spare you a direct citation of the full list, but let’s just say that the 10 central stipulations, which turn out to be guidelines for how to sustain an open marriage, are neither impractical nor outlandish: Never sleep with the same person more than three times, never introduce a fuck buddy to friends or family, never say “I love you” — common sense stuff. What is impractical and outlandish is everyone’s feeble enactment of these rules during the overlong run-time of Leslie Greif’s gross-out sex comedy.
Two couples, one married and one on the cusp, (portrayed by Pretty Little Liars‘ Tammin Sursok, Jesse Bradford, and two other interchangeably good-looking people) grow weary of life hanging out in the meatpacking district, antiquing in Rhode Island, and other pastimes people twice their age and income bracket usually enjoy. Still, the ladies are initially thrown when their menfolk suggest a shared-partner romp, but one, and then gradually the other, gets on board.
Before you can say “next stop, the Hamptons” — which a character actually does say, to a cab driver, with gratuitous exclamation marks — they’re off to the shore for a casual sexcapade punctuated with mishaps and mistaken identity comedy that’s baseline Shakespearean, just dumber. Problem is, these adult female protagonists are considerably dimmer than their bejeweled cell phone cases, and both admit less than halfway through the movie that they only agreed to “sleep around” — quotes because neither actually has sex with her respective conquest—in order to win approval from their husbands. They’re really staunch monogamists at heart (because women hate sex, duh).
Meanwhile the men — they’re really of the dude genus here — are having no such misgivings, or at least they require the full feature-length and a disastrous threesome to acknowledge them.
The whole film is pretty enraging, hideously acted apart from the main quartet, and ends up viewing like a particularly racy Lifetime Original. Greif populates it with a full spectrum of cartoonish stereotypes — Latinos, gays, Brits, blacks, teenagers, the French, people from Jersey, even, in a way, straight white males. There’s a side plot involving a children’s book publishing deal, but that’s rather hazy and never gets resolved. Instead of jokes, we get curbside seats for a parade of clichés to nowhere and one naughty version of Harold Lloyd’s clock routine. But no amount of picking and nagging is relevant. This movie and any of its soft shocks are bound to underwhelm in the audiovisual age of shots from the perspective of Shia LaBeouf’s dick and Lena Dunham playing topless ping-pong. Maybe things would have been different pre-American Pie, but today, only the sheltered elderly and teens on Rumspringa would be scandalized by these swingers.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 2, 2014