September 11, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Leading Man

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Jon Bon Jovi, Anna Galiena, Lambert Wilson, Thandie Newton
genre
Drama
We gave it a B+

Rock star Bon Jovi aces the title role of this theatrical release, playing a slyly sexy actor who cons an unhappily married playwright (Wilson) into allowing his wife (Galiena) to be seduced. Yet The Leading Man‘s true protagonist is the playwright, who wants to leave his spouse for the young actress (Newton) in his new play, unaware that the actor friend has designs on her too. Increasingly afraid of losing both women, Wilson’s poor fool grows desperate and his plight darkly funny. But the joke isn’t just on him. With its duplicity-driven plot taking several more twists, this is a backstage romance in which all the players get whom they wanted — but don’t get what they need. B+

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