An aphoristic character study of two polar-opposite females (not just old and young, interior and exterior, frumpy and sexy, abiding and rebellious) who face a litmus test of male enmity.The urbane Stockard Channing is a nondescript executive who fears that her termination is on the horizon. Julia Stiles, her churly, cocky assistant (“I like the sloppiness of real life”) shows up late for a presentation and by force of circumstance, has the superior’s anger of the sum of things unleashed upon her. An apology is made, drinks are consumed, and the experiment commences. A curiosity always resides nearby as to whether any of the actions are premeditated or are completely extempore. The business of strangers is a question-and-answer that is still private by the outcome, but not without some light shed on several suppositions. None particularly help to make Stiles’ decisions or actions more palatable, but there is some real insight into the insecurities of Channing’s character, numbed by grandiloquence and an empty home-life. Writer/director Patrick Stettner attenuates some validity when he overreaches by granting his characters the ability to think and react too quickly in verbal or physical situations. It makes for a taut banter and dance, but too much so; neither of the women let anything slip by without a pithy retort or reaction. Though, part of that reason would be the quality of actresses we are dealing with — an oft-ignored pro (definitely within the top ten or fifteen lead female performances of last year), and a neophyte who runs circles around most actresses her age and older.