Role Play

January 12, 202430/1005 min
Kaley Cuoco, David Oyelowo, Bill Nighy, Connie Nielsen
Written by
Seth W. Owen
Directed by
Thomas Vincent
Run Time
1h 40min
Release Date
January 12th, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

Have you ever wondered how well do we really know the person we have chosen to spend our time with? For all you know, they could have made up details about their life to cover up the real thing they do. Most lies we tell those people are little white lies, but what if the person of your dreams was a contract killer? That is a dilemma that one man is faced with in the new film Role Play and the answer is not a “killer” of a time like you would hope it would be.

For Emma (Kaley Cuoco) and Dave (David Oyelowo), life is about as good as it gets. They have two great kids and a good marriage, and even though Emma travels often for business, what they have works. After a recent trip, Emma returns home to find that she has forgotten her anniversary with Dave and, feeling bad, suggests a little role-playing to spice things up again. The plan is to assume different names and meet in a hotel bar, pretending not to know each other. But their night takes a turn when they meet Bob (Bill Nighy) in that hotel bar. Bob seems to be really interested in Emma, and it sounds like he knows more about her than she is telling him. It is only after the bar that we find out he is there for because she has a bounty on her head. Emma does her job and rids herself of the problem. The next day after her husband finds out who she is and what she does, Emma tries to save the life she has made for herself, which means ending her old life for good.

Written by Seth W. Owen, Role Play doesn’t feel like it knows what it wants to be and instead settles for being nothing special. There are plenty of things not working, but the script might be the weakest link, as it just falls off a cliff in the third act, and the whole time it plays out like there are scenes missing. It’s supposed to be funny, but then you realize kids are involved, then it’s not so much. When you add the predictability of pretty much everything, you start to feel like the only thing being killed is your time watching this movie.

Charles Barkley once said, “I am not a role model,” and I hope other movies that want to do what Role Play  was trying to do don’t look at them for direction. The only part that does work is the chemistry between Oyelowo and Cuoco, which is one of the few beacons of light in the void that is the rest of this movie. Add Nighy, which is far too small of a role, and you have all your highlights right there. I will say in terms of a marriage crisis, finding out your significant other is a contract killer has to rank up there pretty high. What doesn’t rank up very high is this movie, as it misses its target completely.

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