By Merle Bertrand | December 13, 1999

It’s no secret that Alan (Steve Varnum) and his wife Megan (Donna Ræ Hazelwood) aren’t getting along, but few would guess how gravely their relationship has deteriorated. If you happen to come across Herb Henderson’s darkly comic, contemporary (read: plenty of nudity and blood) take on an Edgar Allen Poe classic, you’ll understand just what a couple of groaners those two puns were. In any event, Alan, finding himself bored and alone, begins having visions of a beautiful, usually naked woman. She even appears in his dreams, at least until Megan’s whiny phone calls wake him up. Megan nags him and as she does, we learn more about their tortured history through a procession of flashback sequences. Eventually, she wears him down to the point where he agrees to come pick her up, leading to the film’s none-too-surprising O’Henry ending. This perfunctory, workmanlike affair is a harmless enough film, but it drags on way too long, especially since you can figure out what’s happening well before Alan does. We could certainly use a good five minutes less of Alan the insomniac lounging around on his bed in his black briefs, for starters, while Henderson indulges in not just one but two uninspired and cliched dream sequences. If this film had been about half as long, I would have been a lot less bothered.

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