Teller plays Alec, who is approached by a desperate Megan (Analeigh Tipton) on a dating website, after she splits from her fiancée, and is peer pressured into meeting somebody new by her flatmate Faiza (Jessica Szohr). The pair decide to meet, strictly for sex, and Megan heads over to Alec’s apartment, where they fulfil each other’s expectations. However when wanting to make a quick getaway the following morning, Megan realises she’s snowed in, and so suddenly this supposed one night stand turns in to a two day affair – as they pair unwittingly find themselves in one another’s company for far longer than they had initially envisaged.
Though the simplicity of this narrative, and the restricted, confined setting (giving this tale the feel of a stage play) is a unique selling point for Nichols, it’s also suffocating, and to the filmmaker’s detriment. You can’t help but crave more characters, and different scenery. For this premise to be triumphant – like Roman Polanski’s Carnage was, for instance, you require a staggeringly sharp screenplay, as the conversation is so essential – it’s all we have to cling on to. However you start to feel much like our protagonists do, stuck in this house with no means of escape.
What certainly doesn’t work in Nichols favour either is the conventional use of romantic comedy tropes. The music for starters, and the very opening scene, witnessing what Megan puts in her dating website profile, with quirky, droll witted entries that merely sets an undesirable tone for the rest of the picture. It’s a shame to see this film cheapened in post production in this manner, as when the funny moments arrive – and believe me, they do – you almost feel guilty for laughing given the generic surroundings they’re dressed up in. The comedy is somewhat circumspect and inconsistent too, taking a generic, observational approach – a bit like a less subtle version of British sitcom Him and Her. Though the majority of jokes are a challenge to identify with, every now and again one does manage to hit the mark. There’s one scene in particularly that provokes a lot of laughter, when the pair give each other “constructive” feedback on the sex they had the night before.
Thankfully the chemistry between these two actors – and their acting abilities in general – provide this film with a much needed touch of class, as they’re both so charismatic and have a real aptitude for comic timing. The film certainly improves the more we get to know the pair, but regrettably it never quite elevates itself above mediocrity. It’s no Whiplash, put it that way.