Owen Gleiberman
October 30, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

Consenting Adults

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
95 minutes
performer
Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Kevin Spacey
director
Alan J. Pakula
author
Matthew Chapman
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Drama

We gave it a D

Well, it was bound to happen. Sooner or later, someone had to make a trendy, erotic, dark-side-of-yuppie-life thriller in which the early, ”psychological” part — you know, when you’re actually supposed to believe what’s going on — manages to be every bit as stupid and predictable as the flat-footed finale. In Consenting Adults, Kevin Kline, as a complacent suburbanite, agrees to swap wives with his new neighbor (Kevin Spacey), a fellow so gross and disreputable I didn’t believe Kline would even want to have a beer with him. Aficionados of high kink shouldn’t get their hopes up: The sex scenes are synthetic and perfunctory, and the film devolves into a drably inept variation on Double Indemnity. This is the sort of cloddish thriller in which characters keep putting themselves in dangerous situations because…the movie requires them to be in dangerous situations. The one true surprise has nothing at all to do with the plot: It’s Kevin Spacey’s hair. Dyed a glittering blond, it sets off his smirky, come-hither mug with maximum perversity. D

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