Nice Guys Sleep Alone Movie Review

Stu Pollard's indie feature Nice Guys Sleep Alone suffers from the same problem as his main character Carter (Sean O'Bryan): It's too nice and sweet. I kept waiting for romantic loser/hero Carter -- to paraphrase Vince Vaughn in Swingers -- to be the "rated R guy, the guy we're not sure if we like yet." When he finally becomes that guy, we're too far gone down this road, a road which wants to tell us something about friendship and love intermingling, and how although "nice guys" typically get the shaft, it doesn't always pan out that way.

Pollard has a good sense of comic timing (and the good sense to adapt a novel instead of writing his own original story). His film pans out in Louisville, with frequent visits to the track and other interesting locations. (How many indie romantic comedies are shot in two locations: someone's apartment and a bar!? Ugh.) He even gets actors like Morgan Fairchild and William "This is my other brother Darryl" Sanderson. Pollard obviously spent a lot of money too, shooting on 35mm (if not, he fooled me) and staging some big-budget scenes, including period-piece dream sequences and real-live horse races.

But something's off in Nice Guys Sleep Alone. Though it has moments of real comedy, the romance part of the equation never quite gels. Sybil Temchen's Maggie doesn't quite match up with Carter, and I couldn't even muster the energy to want them to get together. Of course, that's kind of the point: Carter can't get the girl because he's a numbnuts. Then again, he doesn't really deserve the girl. A more interesting story involves an abortive relationship with his former stepsister (Vanessa Marcil), a wildly hot sexpot who comes on to him repeatedly.

Screw society, Carter, and go for the hot chick.

Most of the subplots are hard to get interested in, too. Altogether I laughed out loud a number of times, although I never quite found my groove with the movie.

Pollard's big success has been on DVD at NetFlix and Amazon (a story which I hope to be writing more about shortly), and sure enough for an independently-produced disc it's quite impressive. The only flaw I found was the commentary track, in which Pollard's voice is wholly inaudible while O'Bryan is loud as the day is long.

Comments

Nice Guys Sleep Alone Rating

" OK "

Rating: R, 1999

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