28 Hotel Rooms
A man (Chris Messina) and a woman (Marin Ireland) meet each other at a hotel bar while away from their loved ones for business purposes. He works as a writer who's in town for a book tour. She works as a corporate analyst. A one night stand turns into more after she calls him for another rendezvous at the hotel even though she had told him right off the bat that he shouldn't expect her to call him. Two rendezvous turn into a total of twenty-eight, hence the film's title.
The man and woman's occupation and relationship status is as much background information as you'll find out about them. Writer/director Matt Ross doesn't even give them names or show any of the scenes between their many rendezvous. The actors bare it all, physically and emotionally, with one another, so it's too bad that the screenplay doesn't give them more meat to chew on. You'll feel like you're given a lot of potatoes, but no meat, which doesn't make it a complete meal. Messina and Ireland's performances barely compensate for all of the depth that the screenplay lacks. The man and woman are pretty much empty vessels for you to fill background info about with your own imagination. That makes for quite a frustrating and ultimately exhausting experience. Moreover, Ross doesn't include enough wit or comic relief to balance the gradually waxing heaviness of the plot. Nor are the sex scenes particularly scintillating.
What's left for audiences to savor, you ask? Heartfelt performances by Chris Messina and Marin Ireland help to keep you mildly engaged, and the set/lighting designs are interesting, but neither of those virtues are truly enough to elevate the film from mediocrity or to make it memorable for that matter. For a much more profound, captivating and palpable romantic drama about strangers having a steamy affair at a hotel, you're better off watching the thoroughly brilliant French film An Affair of Love.