Courteney Cox decided to step behind the camera with the Lifetime movie Talhotblond. She directed this movie and also makes a cameo appearance in the film. She is a very talented actress and it seems she has developed directorial talent also. Talhotblond is a suspenseful film, based on a true story, about a man who conducts an affair of the mind on the Internet. The passion he finds there begins to rule his life and ultimately leads to tragedy.
Garret Dillahunt, of Raising Hope fame, plays Thomas, an everyday type of guy who works in a plant. He is married and has two daughters. Once a month he plays poker with some of his friends, including one of his co-workers Brian (Brando Eaton). At one of these sessions he complains that playing poker once a month is not enough. One of his friends suggests he try online gambling.
A few nights later he signs on to the site which his friend was talking about and begins to play poker online. As he is playing he gets a request for a personal chat from someone identified as "Talhotblond." They begin to chat on line she tells him she is an eighteen year old girl named Katie. He replies he is only a few years older than she is and that he is a marine headed to Afghanistan. And so the relationship begins.
He keeps all this secret from his wife Carol (Laura San Giacomo) and his two young daughters. To them he is still the same but they do notice he is eating healthier and exercising more. Even his friend Brian notices there is a new spark to him.
Cox paces the film slowly, letting the jeopardy of the situation build. Thomas' secret life is shown to be one that could be exposed at any time. There are many close calls and Cox presents them in a way that makes this movie full of nerve-breaking suspense.
For a film of this type to be successful it needs actors giving solid performances and that is exactly what Cox gets from Dillahunt and Giacomo. They both give studied performances that bring these characters totally to life. Dillahunt makes us understand the desperation of a man trapped in an ordinary life. The audience is repulsed by his actions but they can understand why he fell into this relationship of sexual obsession.
Giacomo plays Carol as the ordinary housewife trying to keep her marriage together. Life has become a bit of a drudgery but she soldiers on as best she can. She has gotten older, a little heavier, and maybe is not as pretty as she once was. Still she tries to be a good wife and mother and expects Thomas to share the load.
Talhotblond is an impressive movie about ordinary people going through the routine of their lives. When an outside force intervenes, then the balance of their lives is destroyed. That is when this seemingly quiet movie becomes a horror story.
Talhotblond airs Saturday, June 23 at 8PM on the Lifetime Channel.
Jackie K Cooper
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