A New York indie romantic comedy in the classic vein, Just One Time is writer/producer/director/star Lane Janger's fifth time around as a filmmaker but is his first major in front of the camera. To my surprise, he's not bad -- which probably means the source material is ripped from his personal headlines (but who am I to say?).
The story's got a sitcom feel: NYC firefighter Anthony (Janger) is about to get married to fiancee Amy (Joelle Carter). But Anthony's life-long dream is to be in bed with two women getting it on. He pushes and pushes Amy and finally she gives in, on the condition that he do the same for her with another guy. He agrees; wacky relationship issues ensue.
Most memorable in the film are The Other Guy and The Other Girl, Guillermo Díaz and Jennifer Esposito (Summer of Sam) respectively. Both are nutty and memorable supporting stars, not to mention better actors altogether. In fact, the only real dead fish in the cast is Carter, who imbues Amy with, well, nothing much. Emotionally dead, it is inconceivable that feisty Anthony would really want anything to do with her. In fact, Just One Time would have been a much better film if Anthony had ended up running off with Díaz's Victor instead.
But alas, happy and expected endings are the rule of the day, and sure enough, that's what we get. The era of "straight man dabbles in gay culture" is no longer taboo, and movies like Trick, Better than Chocolate, and countless others that have taken us down this road in recent months just don't cut it any more. It's not a bad way to spend 90 minutes, but not fantastic cinema either.
And one time only!
Run time: 111 mins
In Theaters: Friday 17th November 2000
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
IMDB: 6.3 / 10
Director: Lane Janger