Daniels doesn’t expressly say the two couples live in a gated golf community, but it’s easy to imagine they do. It seems John and Ken met on a golf course and became friends not so much because they liked each other, but because they didn’t dislike each other. These men, with their diffident, unexamined, undeveloped inner lives can’t see much beyond their mandate to bring home as much money as possible. Meanwhile, their wives are all about inner life—with no children and no jobs, they have nothing to do but develop their personalities. Beth has clearly come to love her own sour, loony company so much that she doesn’t notice what a startling image she sometimes projects. Hannah, obsessed with the budding friendship, sees intricately coded social messages in what is more likely careless apathy.
Mountain is marvelous as the catalyst of social insanity she always seems to neatly sidestep. David is equally fascinating, his Ken stolidly blind and deaf to any voice—internal or external—that might make sense of the world. Ragland and Leydenfrost are a little less compelling. Almost as if the actors had taken on the worst excesses of their characters, Ragland at times seems to overshoot her part, and Leydenfrost sometimes barely registers as a presence at all.