July 2002
Never Again

Reviewed by Wilson Morales

Never Again

Distributor: USA Films
Director: Eric Schaeffer
Screenwriter: Eric Schaeffer
Producers: Eric Schaeffer, Terence Michael, Dawn Wolfrom, and Bob Kravitz
Music: Amanda Kravat
Running Time: 97 min
Cast: Jeffrey Tambor, Jill Clayburgh, Bill Duke, Sandy Duncan, Caroline Aaron

For some people, love comes naturally. Some find their mate and live happily ever after. For others, it’s never that simple. Things occur in life that may sidetrack that eternal bliss. What happens when time passes, and you are getting older and are still single? Do you stop looking? Do you fear getting hurt if you find someone and it doesn’t last? Are you afraid of commitment? In Eric Schaeffer’s latest film, “Never Again”, he lets his characters answer some of those questions. This film is a good romantic comedy-drama that mixes humor with pathos and passion and takes the audience on a ride that never fails to please

Christopher (Tambor), a part time jazz musician, yearns permanence in the love department. After a series of one-night stands, he begins to wonder if turning gay is the next step in his life. Against the advise of his trusted friend Earl (Duke), Christopher goes to gay bar to see if he’s attracted to men after all these years of wooing women. Grace, a middle-age divorcee, is struggling to find herself after her daughter leaves to go to college. Feeling alone for the first time in years, she goes on a blind date, on the advice from her best friends Elaine and Natasha (Aaron & Duncan). When the date goes sour, she accidentally meets in Christopher in a gay bar of all places. After a brief miscommunication as to their motives, the two find that they have a lot in common and begin dating. As with all relationships, questions from both camps arise. Where are we going from here? Do you love me? Grace has to fight her own credo of “never again” and Christopher wonders whether Grace can truly make him happy.

Who says films involving fifty-year olds are a thing of the past. Schaeffer has written a clever, plausible, funny, and romantic film. His films in the past usually centered on one character (mainly himself) and his exploits as a cabdriver. While those films have some funny scenes, they were never universally appealing as this film. While Clayburgh and Tambor may not be the box office stars that will make one run to the theaters as Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt would, the two of them have a great chemistry on screen. Clayburgh hasn’t had this good of a role since “An Unmarried Woman” decades ago. She’s funny and witty and has a great scene when meeting Christopher’s mother. Tambor is also funny and appealing as a fifty-year-old man all of a sudden afraid of commitment. Duke, when not behind the camera, is good in the supportive role. It’s nice to see him back on the screen again. Credit Director of Photography Thom Ostrowski for capturing a lot of New York City locations and adding some flavor to the film. Love has no time limit. It’s there if you want it.


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