John Cusack and James Spader play against type in Kevin Wade's morality play, directed by Herbert Ross. Spader plays Tim Gerrity, a well-heeled WASP blueblood, who has dedicated his life to justice and public service. Engaged to Diana Stiles (Imogene Stubbs), the daughter of a powerful senator (Richard Widmark), Tim seems to have a rosy future ahead of him. Enter Peter Burton (John Cusack), Peter's working-class roommate at the University of Virginia. Peter, a ravenous and devouring go-getter, is out to climb the political ladder at any cost. He sees Tim and latches onto him. Their friendship blooms at the university and continues afterwards, with the weak-willed Tim constantly deferring to the antagonistic and aggressive Peter. But they finally come to blows on skis when Tim finds out that Peter has bedded Diana, who has decided to drop Tim for his lack of ambition. When Peter blackmails Senator Stiles to secure a House seat, Tim rouses himself from his lethargy to fight Peter politically.
~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide