Films do Not come much clunkier than”Deadly Illusions,” an Unconvincing mishmash of psychodrama and sensual thriller filled with silly plot holes, clear dialogue, and risibly bad actions and reactions.
Supposedly bestselling author who, following a long hiatus, is coerced back in the book world with a megabucks offer from her needy publisher. Mary is resistant — something about strange things happening to her when she writes. But she’s coerced to the deal with her husband, Tom (Dermot Mulroney, what the hell are you doing in this?) , who’s secretly made some bad investments and, well, they want the money (and also, apparently, a shiny Range Rover plus a decoration house).
But shame poor Mary, who can not juggle writing, mothering her twin Son and daughter, and being a fantastic wifey into Tom, so she hires a priest — within an egregiously cursory way — to pick up the slack. And Mary, stuck with writer’s block, a doubtful work ethic, and a penchant for knocking off for skinny dipping, bra searching and boozy dancing together with the babysitter, soon finds herself in a string of satisfying Sapphic clinches using all the alluring young Grace. But are such — and Tom’s appearing indiscretions — actual or are they, well,”illusions?” And will they flip, er,”deadly?” Go ahead, guess.
There is so much else wrong here but a few lowlights include: no One knows just how old Grace is, much less anything else about her; we could hardly tell exactly what Mary’s new novel is all about nor how it might relate to the weirdness she’s experiencing (and do not get me started on her phony-baloney publishers); and why exactly does Mary smoke cigars, write her books in longhand and listen to music on vinyl? Does this say anything whatsoever about her?
The whole superficial jumble, written and directed by Anna Elizabeth James, fully strikes off the rails in the last action in a flurry of badly staged and edited violence, convoluted reveals plus also a curious coda, all which still leave much unexplained.
The film will, however, teach you how to cut open an avocado.