In “Role Play,” Kaley Cuoco and David Oyelowo are a nice suburban couple with kids — but he doesn’t know that when she’s supposedly on business trips around the country, she’s actually traveling internationally and murdering people. He also doesn’t know other assassins are out to kill her.
But don’t mix up “Role Play” with “The Family Plan,” another relatively new movie in which Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Monaghan are a nice suburban couple with kids — but she doesn’t know that he used to be an assassin and other assassins are out to kill him.
There’s a big difference between the two movies: Kaley’s movie is streaming on Amazon Prime Video, while Mark’s movie is streaming on Apple TV+.
By the way, you also shouldn’t confuse “Role Play” with “True Lies,” the 1994 movie in which Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis led a nice suburban life — but she didn’t know that he was a globe-trotting secret agent forced to work against his will with Tom Arnold.
But back to Kaley and David.
The trouble starts when they decide to spice up their sex life with a little role playing — pretending not to know each other when they meet in the bar of a fancy hotel where he’ll pick her up and they’ll go upstairs for a fun adult night without the kids. Unfortunately, Bill Nighy’s also in the bar and gets to Kaley before David does.
Any movie is enhanced by Nighy’s presence because he’s more charming than 90% of the men on this planet — and a quirky yet very reliable actor, too. In “Role Play,” his interloping at the bar kicks off a series of events which lead to dangerous twists and turns for the happily (?) married couple.
I’m trying not to give too much away, because “Role Play” is a movie you shouldn’t have spoiled in reviews or by watching the trailer. So, I won’t tell you how Connie Nielsen (best known as Hippolyta from the “Wonder Woman” movies) plays into the plot as it develops.
“Role Play” is your basic popcorn flick — nothing great, nothing horrible, doesn’t drag, isn’t too long. My wife and I enjoyed it, mostly because of Cuoco’s likability and talent. As she proved in her series, “The Flight Attendant,” she can handle tense, dramatic scenes as well as she did the sitcom banter on “The Big Bang Theory.”
One last thing: Since Cuoco also produced the movie, I was surprised to hear The Isley Brothers’ “Work To Do” as the opening theme of “Role Play,” considering she wasn’t even alive when it was recorded. Neither were the writer and director. In fact, the only people involved in this production who were are Nighy, Nielsen, and probably several of the grips.
I give “Role Play” a 6.5 out of 10.
Starts streaming on Amazon Prime Video tomorrow (1/12/24).