Never Again

For all the older people who like the crude humor omnipresent in comedies today but could never relate to all the teenagers in these same movies, Never Again is the movie for them. "Never again" is the mantra of Christopher and Grace, two fifty-somethings living in the city. Burned by shattered marriages, they vow never to fall in love again. Now casual sex, that's something different. Never Again is the latest film from Eric Schaeffer (Wirey Spindell, Fall), and much better than his last effort. This time, there is an element of romance in his movie. Schaeffer carefully navigates through the feelings of two people hurt by the past, and afraid of the future. However, the way he goes about this could use a lot more work.

Crude humor can be funny, if done correctly. Few people can do this, and Schaeffer is not one of them. The constant cussing is fine, but his premise is ridiculous. Christopher (Jeffrey Tambor, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Pollock) is questioning is his sexuality. He had a dream where the woman he was having sex (not making love) with turned into a man. So maybe he is gay. If not, he wants to make sure, so he tries how he can to test his sexuality. This leads him to a gay bar, where he strikes up a conversation with somebody he thinks is a transsexual, since instead of going all the way, he figures he can go part of the way. The transsexual is actually a woman, and hey, it's Grace (Jill Clayburgh, Fools Rush In, Going All the Way). Grace is there because it was the closest place to go to meet her friends after a failed blind date. Anybody who feels this is funny should enjoy the rest of the film.

As Christopher and Jill spend more time together, they find that they really enjoy each other's company. Casual sex eventually leads to romance, something neither expected nor wanted. Yet they truly love each other, so they give it a shot. And since this dubiously falls under the category of 'romantic comedy,' things are too good to last, especially given the cold feet both of them once had. Clayburgh and Tambor do give genial portrayals and the baseness of the script is a change that is sometimes welcome, but for the most part it becomes tiresome. Like most movies, Never Again never shows the two bonding in any serious way, so when they inevitably go through a rough spot, the audience does not necessarily feel for them. Schaeffer is using the dirty jokes as his crutch, to somehow distinguish Never Again from every other romantic comedy out there. Now, instead of watching shallow young people, these people have two or three more decades on them.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 37 minutes, Rated R for strong sexual content including graphic dialogue, and for language.

Back to Movies