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4 P.M.

By Merle Bertrand | February 13, 2001

Belinda (Linda McGuire) is the happily married, very proper and very powerful British Environmental Minister. She’s also a closet lesbian, seeking out and seducing a parade of women in a series of secretive one-night stands. Jenna (Emma Kay) is supposed to be just the latest of Belinda’s conquests; that is until the next morning when, after Belinda heads off to work, Jenna finds herself accidentally locked inside her important host’s house.
Bored and frustrated, Jenna explores every nook and cranny of the place, rummaging through Belinda’s photographs, personal effects and even her box of sex toys. It’s in this compromising position, with a vibrator buzzing hilariously on the floor, that Belinda finds Jenna when she finally returns home…her flabbergasted husband in tow.
The general public has always maintained an inordinate fascination with our politicians’ sex lives. “4 P.M.” simply plays off that fascination; co-directors Samantha Bakhurst and Lea Morement take us on a slyly gleeful voyeuristic journey into one such elected official’s hidden sex life.
This film is set up exceptionally well; the audience gradually learning Belinda’s identity at the same time as an increasingly dumbfounded Jenna. There are one or two contrived moments here, a couple of instances of plot exposition delivered by all-too conveniently timed television clips. Then, too, I’m baffled as to how someone gets locked INSIDE a flat, although maybe that’s simply a quirk peculiar to English construction, kinda like having their steering wheels mounted on the wrong side of their cars.
While one imagines that Bill Clinton could relate to Belinda’s predicament on some level, one thing is for certain. This amusing fifteen minute peek through the undergarments of a British politician’s private life is much more fun to watch than Kenneth Starr and Justice Rehnquist.

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