'Temps': Film Review
Two temp workers attempt a relationship after sleeping together in Ryan Sage's romantic comedy.
If nothing else, Ryan Sage's romantic comedy Temps illustrates how dating standards have changed over the years. In the past, things had gotten serious when people had sex, or decided to live together. Now the most important barometer is updating your "relationship status" on Facebook.
Unfortunately, despite such timely insights and the appealing performances of its two leads, Temps lives up to its name by disappearing from your memory moments after viewing. It depicts in all-too-familiar style the romance between temp workers Jefferson (Grant Rosenmeyer) and Stephanie (Lindsey Shaw), who, as one character in the film puts it, are "running the bases backwards" — in other words, getting to know each other and doing traditional "couple" things after already having had sex.
And as the pic make clear, they do have sex, and lots of it, with their infatuation depicted in a series of soft-core lovemaking scenes that, if nothing else, effectively convey the unbridled physical passion that often accompanies a new relationship. The performers go through their frequently athletic paces, often with comic gusto, making the segments refreshingly fun as compared to the coyness of so many rom-com sexual encounters.
But, as is often true of sex, the couplings eventually prove repetitive, and the story that surrounds them doesn't add up to much. Jefferson is revealed as the sort of standard immature male commitment-phobe who freaks out when Stephanie makes the aforementioned change to her Facebook profile. Cue the inevitable relationship problems, which lead to the inevitable break-up, which lead to his inevitable breakdown (he acts out at the office and gets himself fired), which lead to his inevitable efforts to win her back to ... well, you get the idea.
Tim Bennett-Huxtable's screenplay uses such characters for comic relief as Curtis (Reid Ewing) Jefferson's wacky roommate who dreams of being a dancer, and Lorelai (Alexa Giuffre), his obnoxiously needy co-worker at the sex shop where he begins working after losing his job. There's also an attempt at drama in the form of Jefferson's contentious relationship with his slacker father (Chris Bauer), who's content to do nothing and live on a friend's boat.
Most of the humor is of the predictable or ribald variety, such as when Stephanie begs off providing oral services because she has "lockjaw." More problematically, her character is developed less than Jefferson's, with the resulting imbalance proving detrimental to the film. It's particularly noticeable since Shaw emerges as a funny, sexy comedienne whose character is far more appealing than her male counterpart, who sizes up potential mates by their opinion on Godzilla versus King Kong.
Production companies: Grandex Productions, RKM 29
Cast: Grant Rosenmeyer, Lindsey Shaw, Reid Ewing, Eden Sher, Chris Bauer, Alexa Guiffre
Director-editor: Ryan Sage
Screenwriter: Tim Bennett-Huxtable
Producers: Ryan Sage, Jason Duplissea, Jordan Gershowitz, Madison Wickham, Ryan Young
Executive producers: Anthony Burkert, John DeBorde, Milan Erceg, Jordan Gershowitz, Scott Wilson
Director of photography: Stephen Sheridan
Production designer: Kerri Parker
Composer: John DeBorde
Casting: Monica Kelly, Jennifer Treadwell
Not rated, 95 minutes