Promise?

Eric Shaeffer improves modestly with Never Again by leaving himself out of it

After endless failed relationships, a middle-aged exterminator and jazz musician (Jeffrey Tambor) begins to think that maybe he's gay. On his first attempt to pick someone up at a gay bar, however, he meets a beautiful divorcee (Jill Clayburgh), whose recent love life has been equally unsatisfying. The two leap into a passionate sexual affair, swearing that they won't fall in love, but, of course, they do, and then the usual problems start. This is a change of pace for writer-director Eric Schaeffer. For the first time, he doesn't appear in one of his films, which helps. The result is pleasant, diverting and modest. The story is not exactly original, but Schaeffer and his cast manage to make it tolerable. Schaeffer seems to run out of steam toward the end, resorting to two sudden tragedies to give the plot its final push. It's not terribly surprising that Never Again, which played at the SXSW Film Festival more than a year ago, is only now making it into theaters.

 
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