When Edward (Stamp), an established London publisher, receives a manuscript from Nicholas (Mesguich), a French friend and trashy novelist, he's shocked to discover that inspiration for this Tunisian romance came from events surrounding the suicide of his past beloved - in which, he believes, Nicholas was inextricably involved. Once the book is published to acclaim, and Nicholas is enjoying the trimmings of success, Edward seeks revenge by orchestrating a scam to accuse his friend of plagiarism. Despite Mesguich's convincing performance and stunning photography (London has rarely looked so stylish), Rapp's theatrical directing and limp script turns this into an insipid exercise, devoid of suspense and emotional tension. Most torturous is Stamp's rendition of the repressed English 'gentleman'. Stilted and corpse-stiff, you get a niggling suspicion he may just be playing it for laughs.