Trust is important in any relationship, but especially in a marriage. Which leads to a sort of philosophical conundrum: If one cheats on his or her spouse but never gets caught, does that trust remain intact? “Insignificant Other,” the wicked romantic thriller from writer/director Sean Corrigan, takes that question and turns it on its ear. Because in this film, it’s not the cheating which is at issue — there’s plenty of that going on between the film’s four deviously swinging characters — so much as the reason for that cheating.
Sarah Sullivan (Laura Clifton) is the film’s tour guide. A beautiful but bored housewife, she’s become involved in an illicit and kinky affair with her psychiatrist Dr. Charles Weisman (Don Cass). Not only is she sleeping with the guy, but she’s set up video cameras in her house to allow the good doctor to watch her having sex with her husband Ryan (Corrigan).
Turnabout being fair play, Ryan isn’t exactly the mister goody-two-shoes he appears to be either. Not when you consider that he’s sleeping with Kendra Bratton (Jessica Schwartz), Sarah’s sometimes suicidal, pretty in a Goth-lite sort of way best friend. Oh, and Kendra is also married to Ryan’s best friend Richard (Brandon Howe), a dangerously intense method actor who’s ALWAYS in character.
Confused? Don’t worry about it, because most of what I’ve just described is not really true. Oh, the marital relationships exist and all the sleeping around is certainly taking place…but not in the manner Corrigan would have you believe. That’s because, as the viewer eventually learns, one can’t trust “Insignificant Other.” Corrigan’s film plays a game almost as dangerous as the one its characters play, treading the fine line between artful misdirection and outright deceit. The film pulls it off initially, revealing what’s really going on in a nice “Gotcha!” moment. But then it goes too far, filling in every detail of the scam in a manner that — like a magician showing how he does all his tricks — takes some of the fun out of the scam.
Still, this is a strong feature debut from Corrigan. With inventive photography taking full advantage of the film’s photogenic locations and scene-chewing performances from an enthusiastic cast, “Insignificant Others” is a solid and unsettling, darkly comic film. Trust me.