I wondered if this would be an appalling erotic thriller, but it turns out to be a weird sex comedy – the only film adaptation of culture philosopher Pascal Bruckner, with an outstanding Vangelis score. Cruise ship hottie Emmanuelle Seigner and her confessional husband Peter Coyote are weird to Hugh Grant, who finally bows out after Coyote starts going on about his wife’s clitoris. To Grant’s credit, he tells his own wife Kristin Scott Thomas the details later on. The creepy couple aggressively tries to rope Grant into their whole thing, and tell him more stories (they’re in love, doing everything, “headed for sexual bankruptcy,” he falls out of love but she won’t leave so he torments her), and Grant is convincingly standoffish about it, until he stops telling his wife the details and starts making excuses to sneak off and hear more (Coyote ditches her on vacation then gets hit by a bus, she fucks up his spine while he’s recovering then gives him a loaded gun for his birthday). Hugh thinks his reward for hearing all these perverse cruelties will be to end up with Seigner, but she sleeps with his wife instead, then Coyote shoots Seigner and himself.
Coyote would star in an AlmodÃ³var movie the next year… Seigner was married to Polanski, returning from Frantic… Grant and Thomas a couple years before Four Weddings stardom, but well after his Lair of the White Worm.