Synopsis: In a modern, sexy and provocative twist on the classic love story. Fling follows a twentysomething couple, Samantha (Courtney Ford) and Mason (Steve Sandvoss), as they navigate the complications of an open relationship. But when Sam reconnects with an old college boyfriend (Brandon Routh), and Mason shares a flirtatious and steamy hot tub encounter with his best friend’s younger sister (Shoshana Bush), both partners find themselves falling for other people. As the couple’s flings intensify, Sam and Mason are forced to reexamine the limitation of their own relationship, while learning what being in love is really all about.
One could say that ‘Fling’ is the serious exploration of what ‘Seeing Other People’ did for laughs; it takes the concept of open relationships and deals with it from a dramatic standpoint. The key difference in this story is that our two protagonists choose to do this as a lifestyle choice, and not as an eleventh hour, pre-nuptial quest for sexual experience.
In ‘Fling’, our young couple has been doing this for an unestablished amount of time – but it obviously been a while, seeing as it’s pretty much habitual. What they do is sleep with other people, then go back home and tell each other about it. They appear to lead a very relaxed, happy life together, partly due to this lack of restraint. One could even say that going out to seduce other people is a shared activity/hobby of sorts.
I quite liked seeing the impact of this relationship model on both characters, each other, their lovers and even their friends and family. The filmmakers took a fairly sober look at polyamory and explored the joys and pitfalls that may not be so apparent at first glance, such as how Love and romance fits in that scenario, how one explains this to friends/family, …etc.
Even if the first thing that would come to one’s mind is all sorts of sweaty stuff, the movie mostly deals with relationships. Oh, sure, there are plenty of sexual escapades in this film, being a key component of their lifestyle, but it was not necessarily sexy or exciting. In fact, I got a sense that it was thrown in by necessity more than for titillation.
The acting is B-grade but fairly good. Steve Sandvoss was appealing, in a less-dorky-Matthew-Lillard kind of way. Then there’s poor Brandon Routh. Having seen him perfectly cast as Superman, I will always see him as a “replacement Christopher Reeve”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had a weakness for Reeve and both are relatively talented, it’s just that I find Routh so similar (physically and in his acting style) that I don’t know if he’ll ever step out of that shadow.
The girls were decent enough, if unexceptional. Actually, Shoshana Bush annoyed me a little bit. However, Courtney Ford was solid – but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was seeing Claire Forlani’s double, for some reason. I think it was her eyes. Speaking of superficial stuff, all the women in this film had shiny white teeth – you know, this nouveau-white sheen that can only happen through treatment. It’s like fake tans or botched plastic surgery: it makes an impression, but in a bad way.
I’m not sure why, but I felt a lack momentum during this film – so much so, that I felt comfortable stopping it halfway, something I rarely do, to take a phone call. I knew that I could just jump right back in without missing a beat. You know how some films build up from start to explosive finish? This one didn’t. It was a steady ride, but not a gripping one, sort of like driving around your aging parents versus riding with your lunatic friends.
But I thought it was a good film. Imperfect, certainly, on account of that lack of zest and the performances that never actually set ablaze, but what it lacks in actual silver screen magic it makes up for in intention. And ‘Fling’ was made with all the intention of being more than just a flash in the pan, of having a longer-lasting shelf life. I think that it succeeds well enough to be worth a look – after all, at 90 mins in length, ‘Fling’ is not a big commitment.