Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) is leading a contented life until his wife Agatha (Virginia Madsen) innocently gives him a battered old paperback as a gift. As he reads, Sparrow is astonished by the parallels between his life and that of the novel's protagonist, Fingerling (also Carrey).
But as the plot progresses it grows darker, featuring themes of transgressive sex, suicide and murder.
It also hinges around Fingerling's obsession with the number 23 - a prime number that seems to pop up everywhere in the universe once you start to notice it.
It's not long before 23 takes a similar hold on Sparrow. And, when he begins unjustly to view Agatha in the same distrustful light that Fingerling views his own spouse Fabrizia (also Madsen), it seems as if Sparrow has locked on to the same tragic trajectory as the story's lead character.
Or can he find a way to wrench himself from the novel's grip?
Directed by Joel Schumacher (The Phantom of the Opera, Batman & Robin).
(2007) Cert: 15