For the follow-up to In the Company of Men, the misogyny-on-parade debut that became an out of nowhere indie hit, auteur Neil LaBute wrote and directed a piece that gives more equal representation to the shortcomings of both genders than his earlier film. Three men stand on one side: Cary (Jason Patrick), a womanizing doctor who rehearses make-out lines and keeps his body almost grotesquely ripped; Jerry (Ben Stiller), a self-obsessed theater instructor who chews over every emotion like a morsel of dessert; and Barry (Aaron Eckhart), a man grown soft in his marriage to a woman who can't satisfy him sexually as well as he can himself. On the other side we have three equally well-defined women: Terri (Catherine Keener), a writer/editor whose prefers to keep words out of the bedroom, much to the chagrin of live-in beau Jerry; Mary (Amy Brenneman), a freelance writer whose attempts to find her own sexual fulfillment with both husband Barry and paramour Jerry meet with a similar lack of success; and Cheri (Nastassja Kinski), an art assistant who meets most of the other characters one by one at a gallery but directs her sylph-like affections in an unexpected direction. The lies, double-crosses, and confrontations between these characters resolve into a sinisterly comic indictment of the very idea of romantic fulfillment.
by Brian J. Dillard synopsis