Fling (2008) Poster


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Surprisingly Good
claudio_carvalho2 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The young writer Mason Michael Finch (Steve Sandvoss) and his girlfriend Samantha Cooper (Courtney Ford) live together but they have an open relationship. They have love affairs with different partners whenever they want and then they tell to each other details of their flings. In the wedding party of Sam's sister Alison (Ellen Hollman) with Mason's editor and best friend Luke (Nick Wechsler), Sam meets her former boyfriend James "Bonner" Baxter (Brandon Routh) and they have one-night stand. Meanwhile Mason makes out with Luke's sister Olivia (Shoshana Bush) and they meet each other several times later. The conservative James and Sam fall in love with each other and James feels uncomfortable with the situation while Mason has an unrequited crush on Olivia. Their lives are deeply affected when Sam discovers that she is pregnant and Luke learns that Mason is shagging his "baby sister".

"Lie to Me" is a surprisingly good film about unconventional sexual behavior and love. The story of the open relationship of a young couple has good performances and proves in the end with the conventional conclusion that true love is unconditional, never admitting the type of involvement proposed by Mason and Sam. Maybe with an older lead cast the story could be take more seriously, but anyway I liked it. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Flerte – O Jogo do Amor" ("Flirt – The Game of the Love")
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An indy film that doesn't suck, though the camera work does
MBunge2 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is a dispassionately appealing look at modern relationships that overcomes hackneyed direction to become worth watching.

Mason and Samantha (Steve Sandvoss and Courtney Ford) are a couple somewhere in that maturity no man's land of the mid 20s to very early 30s. They live together and love each other but have what they called back in the 1970s an "open relationship". Mason and Samantha have sex with other people and are completely honest with each other about it. In fact, the only person they lie to about their sexual freedom is Sam's sister Alison (Ellen Hollman).

At the wedding of Alison to Mason's best friend Luke (Nick Weschler), Sam boinks her old college boyfriend James (a shaggy-maned Brandon Routh) while Mason starts a flirtation with Olivia (Shoshana Bush), the 18 year old little sister of Nick. It turns out a single boink isn't enough for Sam and she pursues a romance with James, which he initially resists because he's creeped out by her arrangement with Mason. His attraction to Sam eventually overwhelms his common sense and James continues to date Sam and periodically bug her about her swinging ways. Mason initially holds off the advances of Olivia and even screws her best friend, but eventually nothing stops the two of them from making the beast with two backs. But Mason doesn't tell Nick about boffing his little sister and Olivia insists that he not tell Sam either.

So to recap - Mason and Sam say they love each other and have sex together. They also date and have sex with other people. Sam starts fornicating with James, who pressures her about her unconventional lifestyle. Mason gets romantically and sexually involved with Olivia, the teenaged sister of his best friend Nick. Mason doesn't tell either Nick or Sam about Olivia and no one says anything to Sam's sister Alison. I don't think it's giving away too much of the story to say this six-way conglomeration of love, sex, honesty and deceit proves to be unstable and collapses into a pile of tears and yelling, with a couple of ass kickings thrown in for good measure.

What makes this film interesting is that it neither condemns not justifies Mason and Sam's relationship. It doesn't make them out to be seriously damaged people who fell into a dysfunctional union. Nor does it gloss over the fact that people who live this way are probably not emotionally mature or really looking for a deep, meaningful love. It straightforwardly presents Mason and Sam as two people who were satisfied by this sort of set up for a particular time in their lives when their sexual and emotional dalliances had no consequences or ramifications. But the movie also recognizes that consequences and ramifications work their way into everyone's life at some point, and that's the point when adventuresome becomes threatening and liberation becomes chaos. It's a refreshingly adult and unpretentious take on this kind of subject matter.

This cast gives some nicely measured performances as well. Steve Sandvoss plays Mason perfectly as an overgrown adolescent who's smart enough to rationalize away his emotional underdevelopment. Even though the story doesn't spell it out until later, Sandvoss makes the audience see that Mason was the one who first proposed and wanted an open relationship with Sam. Courtney Ford, however, doesn't let her character be a weakling or a victim. She plays Sam as a woman smart enough to know what she's doing and a willing participant in a love life of libertarian anarchism. Brandon Routh also succeeds at walking a very fine line as James. He has to be just judgmental enough to resonate with the audience but can't be so intolerant that he generates sympathy for Sam or Mason. Routh does that so well I can almost overlook that he's so handsome it makes me want to grind broken glass into his face.

It doesn't take much for an entertaining little film like Fling to be undone, and director James Stewart Muller almost does it by being one of those filmmakers who believe the 11th Commandment is "Thou shalt not steady thy camera." There's some camera movement in almost every shot of this movie, there's never any purpose to it and it get distractingly bad during close ups. When Muller zooms on just one or two characters, it looks like they're in the middle of an earthquake. The shaky-cam stuff is never motion sickness-inducing. It does get more and more annoying as the film goes on.

Even with such clichéd and aggravating camera-work, this is still a good movie that tells a grown up tale about a not terribly grown up couple. Give it a try.
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Very Good Film
maxowell29 April 2008
I saw Lie to Me at the Newport Beach Film Festival. The film was about the complicated relationships between 20-something professionals. The dialogue and situations were very true to life. Courtney Ford and Steve Sandvoss play the leads and were excellent. I had never seen Ford or Sandvoss perform before and I was quite impressed. Brandon Routh, best known for playing the lead in Superman Returns, had a slightly smaller role but was also quite good. The supporting cast, which included Nick Wechsler and Shoshana Bush, lent fine support. I would highly recommend this film firstly because it's good and second in case you're a fan of any of these up-and-coming actors.
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Amazing movie. Exceptional!
maros61231 December 2009
Sam and Mason have a rare type of relationship. They allow each other to have protected sex with their crushes. It's an outstanding portrayal of an unconventional relationship. Mason has minor jealousy issues (although he enjoys the options very much), the girl - Sam - stands even stronger in this ground. WHen confronted with her lifestyle, she provides interesting rational views to defend it and support their choice.

It makes you think how much of an individual thing is intimate/romantical relationship, which is so standardized in our societies. Obviously, neither of the extremes is healthy, but there are folks who would divorce for single cheating, others are able to overcome it and some (like Sam and Mason) even accept it as common practice in their lives.

The movie is not a manifest to either of the extreme, it just tell the story of people who are impacted by such lifestyle. It cleverly depicts the outcomes of such relationship - the gracious advantages, but also heart breaking disadvantages it may bring.

The story gets unpredicted turns, it's interesting to watch. I chose not to get in the story here.

I recommend this to everyone open-minded enough to withstand a story with dramatical features about an unconventional lifestyle of a young attractive couple.
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Many Indie Movies Just Don't Get the Credit they Deserve
artlikelove14 June 2012
This movie is one of my favorites. I loved it back when I saw it for the first time in 2008 and I still consider it to be one of my favorite romantic dramas. It beautifully portrays the small idiosyncrasies the grace our everyday lives, especially matters concerning sex and love. In these modern times, it is a rare event to come across a romantic film that is void of the generic plots, superficial characters, and "too perfect" of a happily ever after. The film gave a marvelous portrayal of modern issues within relationships. The interaction and ultimate resolution of the characters was genuine, artistic, and captivating. This movie is a wonderful look at the complications that phase our romantic relationships. "Fling" is worthy of due credit, in my opinion.
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relationships not that compelling
SnoopyStyle21 June 2015
Mason Michael Finch (Steve Sandvoss) is a successful writer and he has an open relationship with his girlfriend Samantha Cooper (Courtney Ford). During her sister Allison's wedding, Sam reconnects with James (Brandon Routh). On the other hand, Mason has flings women and even his best friend Luke's young sister Olivia.

It's a lot of hot-people-problems. It's a relatively weak indie from John Stewart Muller. I just don't connect with these characters. Mason and Sam's relationship is superficial. I wouldn't say Sam and James' relationship is that deep either. I think the whole 'open relationship' takes away much of the tension. It's hard for me to care more about a relationship than the couple inside of the relationship. There has to be stakes but these couples aren't worth anything.
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..ending drags it up couple notches
bjarias10 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
..contains spoilers..

..the open relationship draws all the attention for most of the film.. up until the end... when for me, comes the only interesting thing about this movie... and in all reviewer comments I could find nothing discussing how it concludes..

...after five years, he gets an invite.. and meets THAT kid.. the one she told him was not his.. ...it's just too deliberate... too suspicious.. the manner in which it's presented.. as if they want you to consider she could have lied to him to end the relationship and her to move on.. ..remember when she says in a soft, almost inaudible whisper.. do you really want me to tell you the truth.. and he says 'no' (Lie To Me).. and she says 'okay'.. ...now several years later, she deliberately wants the two of them to meet..

..take another run at it.. and those last few seconds... when the two of them waive to each other.. yea.. he knew she didn't want him, and that it is his kid... so how does he then stay gone for so long..
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Could have been better
Gordon-1117 May 2009
This film is about a couple with an open relationship, whose relationship is tested as because of their flings turning serious.

"Lie to Me" has great performances, especially by Steve Sandvoss. He portrays lust and jealousy through his charmingly boyish looks. The plot is realistic enough to possibly create resonance in the viewers. How Mason and Sam's relationship spirals down the drain is vividly portrayed, and I do feel sorry for Mason's predicament. However, I think the entertainment value is slightly hurt by the slow pacing, and the preachy feel of Brandon Routh's character at the beginning of the film. The camera is a little too shaky for my taste too. In summary, "Lie to Me" falls slightly short of my expectations. If it was shortened, or pacing made faster, it could have been better.
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Vincentiu17 February 2012
feelings, immaturity, sexual behavior, empty emotional places, couples, run against yourself, search of life sense, circles, cages, desire and chaos, happiness as fiction and strange relationships. picture of a world. not very special, not new but important to explain different forms of fear. it is not a great film and, one of impressions remains - a movie makes for present beautiful actors and complicated links between people. but may be more ? sure. a parable, a puzzle, a definition, a manifesto, a drawing, an analysis. reality as lot of crumbs for emotional sparrows. or real price of surrenders. importance of new beginnings. and need of axis and roots. not great film, confusing, boring, annoying, it is just point for questions. about ordinaries things.
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very watchable modern story
cekadah28 July 2013
another movie 'found' because i never heard of it! took a chance and enjoyed acting, dialog, plot line, setting, etc. even the actors are very watchable! and because of the very attractive actors there may have been an issue with my perception of the movie. the movie wants to portray a real life story but in real life everybody isn't pretty and physically fit! BUT this is a minor issue in an otherwise well made flick.

i found it difficult to feel the sadness or feel sorry for the two main characters and their realization of the failure of their living arrangement. one knows from the start "open" relationships are doomed to fail. monogamous relationships are difficult enough!

i feel the director Mueller intended for the viewer to empathize with Mason & Sam when Mason realizes he want to commit - but it just didn't happen with me.

outside of that - it's a very good movie!
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