|The Business Of Strangers|
Stockard Channing, Julia Stiles, Frederick Weller
Widescreen; closed caption; Spanish, English subtitles; theatrical trailer.
|It would be easy to dismiss this as a distaff version of Neil LaBute's "In the Company of Men," which depicted the woman-bashing machinations of a heinous male chauvinist and his sidekick. That would be a simplification of writer/director Patrick Stettner's complex film. At one point in "The Business of Strangers," a pair of women consider manipulating an unsuspecting man, but their decision is only a small part of what's going on. During a business trip, a middle-aged executive, played by Stockard Channing (TV's "The West Wing"), and her mouthy twenty-something assistant, played by Julia Stiles ("Save the Last Dance"), are stranded overnight at an airport hotel. Their flight is canceled, as is the flight of a friendly corporate headhunter (Frederick Weller) who may be someone from the younger woman's past. So the three decide to have a drink together. As events play out, the adversarial relationship and malevolent doings are not necessarily what you'd expect.|