Run time: 94 mins
In Theaters: Friday 12th August 2005
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
IMDB: 5.4 / 10
Director: Stu Pollard
Producer: Stu Pollard, Christina Varotsis
Screenwriter: Stu Pollard
Gil Bellows headlines as David Dailey, a local Louisville talk radio jock who, we soon find out, is involved in a loveless marriage. Turns out his wife is carrying on a lesbian affair, which is messing with David's rep in town. Meanwhile, young Melody (the always radiant and underexposed Jennifer Westfeldt) isn't quite in love with her boyfriend, but he keeps pushing for fancy trips and even marriage. Soon, David starts getting cryptic cut-out-of-magazine notes and Melody spies a towncar with tinted windows always keeping watch over her. Could these two events be related? Well, never mind that David and Melody meet when he runs her over with his car, the answer is a qualified maybe.
The main problem is that Pollard's script borrows a few too many cliches from a litany of thrillers -- hell, I'd thought those patchwork note cards went out with anonymous e-mail. Who's in the car with the tinted windows? Wow, when that's finally revealed it baffled me completely. Characters rush in and out of the movie willy-nilly. David seems interested in Melody (and who could blame him), but keeps crawling back to his awful, awful wife. Sure, there's a three-way possibility, who in their right mind would behave this way? Frankly, there's not a single rational character in the entire film. Keep Your Distance, as a script, needs a major overhaul, and I'm sure it could have been much better if all the missed opportunities had been cleaned up.
As a director, Pollard has a much better grasp on things, and even Bellows' hamming doesn't detract too much from clean and professional filmmaking. Westfeldt carries the picture in every scene she's in (far too few, unfortunately), but it ultimately isn't enough. I see that Westfeldt is now writing screenplays, by the way. Maybe she should have taken a crack at this script, too.