TV Review - Only For One Night

Footage Films is a new production company that is run by Marques Houston and Chris Stokes. Houston is a R&B star who was in the popular boy band, Immature. He's been acting since he was a child, but now he's writing and he's penned the screenplay for this feature. Stokes is a music producer who managed Houston in the early 90's. Stokes started directing features in 2001 and Houston was the star of Stokes' first film. Now, Stokes is the director of this feature, as well as all the previous titles under Footage Films.

Typically, Houston stars in these Footage Films, but this time Brian White is Houston's just-as-pretty substitute. Despite being older and slightly more believable in the role, White is at times clearly doing an impression of Marques Houston in his comedic moments. Brian White plays William Morris. We're not sure what exactly his role is, but he works for a man named Paul Sallerson. Sallerson is running for mayor of Los Angeles, a factoid that never has any substantive impact on the plot. William might as well be a dentist.

It's not that his occupation should matter, but this movie misses an opportunity for it to matter, which would have elevated the material here above the pulpy, erotic thriller in the vein of Fatal Attraction that it's imitating. It would have been more interesting for example if William himself had been running for office. The personal stakes are fine but some professional stakes would have differentiated this movie from the myriad of Fatal Attraction knock-offs.

A recent feature called Indiscretion starring Mira Sorvino was also a Fatal Attraction knock-off but it managed to differentiate itself. It too dabbled in the political arena. Its protagonists were the opposite genders of the ones in Fatal Attraction, so instead of a cheating man, it was a cheating woman. That kind of gender-bending is refreshing. Unfortunately, it's not the case here. Here, we have yet again a cheating man.

Except, there is an added wrinkle. Houston's script makes it obvious that William isn't just a cheating man. He was drugged and tricked into having sex. I'm not sure if Houston wrote this story in the wake of the Bill Cosby scandal, but William is a victim of rape in the same way that Cosby's alleged victims were. William even says as much. He says that he was raped by his sister-in-law.

It's another factoid though that never has any substantive impact. The issue of rape is a serious one. In most cases, women are the victims and not men, but John Ridley's American Crime dealt with that reversal brilliantly in its second season. This movie brushes over it as if it doesn't matter. Given the tone of this material, it probably shouldn't, but, again, it's a missed opportunity that this movie could have utilized.

Angelique Pereira co-stars as Caroline, the widowed sister-in-law who becomes obsessed with William. She drugs William and practically rapes him. She's way crazier than Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, but it's funny because her role opposite Brian White is not one I'd compare to Glenn Close. It's one I'd compare to Brian White himself.

Five years ago, White was in another knock-off of Fatal Attraction. It was David E. Talbert's What My Husband Doesn't Know. Yet, in that play-turned-movie, White was the one in the Glenn Close role. His character didn't need to rape anyone. There was a genuine attraction between the characters as a result of problems in the married person's relationship, which this movie doesn't really bother to build. It takes the sexiness of White and Pereira for granted and assumes the attraction, but it's not enough.

Rated TV-MA.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 26 mins.

Aired on BET.
Available on Netflix.

Comments

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