"Two solid actors save a movie from its own pretense."
Kiss the Sky can be forgiven its attitude of ‘middle-age male whininess’ - partially because there’s some surprisingly real insight in Eric Lerner’s screenplay – but mainly because the two leading men give such superlative performances. (With two lesser actors, this movie could have been a petty and dreary affair.)Rare is the movie that capably captures the angst that comes with a 45-year-old man’s libido, but Kiss the Sky comes quite close quite often.
Jeff and Marty are two successful businessmen who, while on a trip to The Philippines, decide to leave the jobs and families behind a rediscover the hedonism of their youth. This impulse is, logically, sparked by sex with a beautiful young woman. Both Jeff and Marty make a ‘connection’ with the carefree Andi and it’s this three-way dalliance that prompts such a drastic change of perspective for the lovestruck men.
The trio’s plan is to build a posh hotel out in the wilderness, while Jeff and Marty share Andi. Needless to say, this arrangement crumbles quite quickly, as the stress of jealousy and heartache over lives lost bring tensions to a head.
William Petersen (Manhunter) adds yet another strong performance to a stable full of work that few people have seen, while the always-enjoyable Gary Cole (Office Space) is nothing short of excellent. (Plus it’s nice to see this guy in a lead role for a change!) Pretty blonde Sheryl Lee (Twin Peaks) is also rather good, in that she creates a character that seems rather like a slut – though that’s hardly the case. Terence Stamp (Superman 2) pops in with a colorful turn as a surprisingly lively monk, which is always something worth seeing.
Movies that deal seriously with the issue of the Male Mid-Life Crisis are a rarity, and the result is often either ridiculous (The Men’s Club), maudlin (The Family Man), or just plain bad (A Touch of Class) but this one offers a few sentiments that ring sincere (particularly in the movie’s first act). Kiss the Sky isn’t likely to cause any ‘life changes’ in the men that watch it, but the movie offers a handful of solid actors on display, a few telling and insightful moments of ‘male reflection’ and even a few sexy moments (courtesy of the often-undressed Ms. Lee).All in all, a solid cable drama that may entertain you more than you’d expect.