Being to "couple's films" what John Ford was to the western, it came to me as a minor revelation of sorts that the difference between a mediocre Paul Thomas movie and a great one lies not in his direction — which uniformly features hot sex, fine production values and subtle thespic turns — but rather in his choice of scripts. If one is going to explore the human psyche as a map of sexual motivation, one should be damn sure the map leads somewhere. With noxious philosophical asides like "Love, hate; what's the difference?," falling out of the mouth of Colt Steel (who's more akin to Tobacco Road than Rhodes Scholar) Cheating seems like a game of Chinese checkers lost on the cosmic playing board.
Taking place at Leena's digs, the cast gathers to celebrate Ashlyn Gere's birthday. With undercurrents of sexual tension strangling the festivities, this could have been a necktie party from The Ox-Bow Incident instead of a birthday bash. See, everybody's fooling around and nobody wants to admit it. Stephen St. Croix, Gere's husband, dives into a sumptuous pool-side fling with Christina Angel, the newlywed wife of Jonathan Morgan. A running gag finds Leena and Nick East repeatedly attempting to get it on (including a heated shower blow-job) but always experiencing coitus interuptus. Gere indulges in numerous flashbacks which reveal a passion for the steely rods of Colt and Gerry Pike, who drill her from every conceivable architectural angle in an abandoned building. Alex Jordan herself drills Christina's sub-basement with a strap-on, and everyone finds lust among the ruins.
Deserving praise for their adept readings of lightweight platitudes, ("I'm not unhappy, just discontent") the cast struggles valiantly to keep this ponderous drama afloat, suceeding in playing it poker-faced to the bitter "surprise" ending (which canny viewers will see coming halfway into the flick).
Solely for the smoking sexuality, we recommend Cheating your customers. Good box.