Stan’s a nice guy from Naperville, a thirtyish insurance adjuster in thrall to a controlling fiancée. He’s the kind of guy who goes to Vegas for a buddy’s bachelor party and turns in early while the other guys hit the strip club. He’s more excited by the prospect of his own upcoming honeymoon in Branson, Missouri. But a chance encounter over a solo breakfast (he went to bed early, after all) with a femme fatale named Rita sends his life careening in an unexpected direction.
Beyer’s script has twists and turns that we rarely saw coming, so far be it from us to reveal too many specifics. We will say that if you’re expecting the kind of screwball wackitude the Factory often (though not exclusively) specializes in, think again. Though there are plenty of laughs, the light tone of the setup is merely misdirection for the darker, more dangerous funny to come. (In terms of implausible Vegas-set stories, this is a closer relative of Peter Berg’s 1998 film Very Bad Things than of Ocean’s Anything.)
Dirty Diamonds is probably too packed with illicit references and screamed obscenities to make any inroads with the Jeff committee (and we wouldn’t mind more variation from hollering hothead thug Engle), but it had us leaning forward in our seats. That’s largely due to the grounding the lurid story is given by Beyer’s own nuanced portrayal of a regular guy in over his head. As Stan, Beyer makes a thoroughly convincing transition—from a timid suburbanite who lets his fiancée run his life and admits he doesn’t have much in the way of balls, to a guy who grows a pair precisely when they’re needed.