Killing Me Softly
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Alice (Graham), an American living in London, bumps into a handsome stranger (Fiennes) on the street and the next thing you know, they’re going at it like rabbits. She dumps her live-in boyfriend and for the next week or so these two have wild sex like nobody’s business. Throwing caution to the wind, she quickly marries the lad but only then begins to suspect that he may be a rapist/lunatic...or is it all in her head? Maybe...there's not much else in there.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I suppose I would’ve liked this movie more than I did had it just stuck to being a love story instead of changing gears and turning into an “I’ve seen this all before” thriller with a lousy “give me a break” twist that’ll have you rolling your goddamn eyes around your entire head. It handles the aspect of lust at first sight beautifully and has some really inspired “animal” sex sequences reminiscent, but not superior, to similar moments in 9 AND A HALF WEEKS and UNFAITHFUL. I must admit I was a bit wary of the film when discovering that Ms. Graham was in it and although she does falter in some scenes, she’s not completely unbelievable. Granted, that’s not very encouraging, but she does put some effort into KILLING ME SOFTLY and deserves definite points for that. Joe Fiennes, much like his brother, is solid as a rock in this movie. It seems like the Fiennes bros can do no wrong, and usually carry a picture, good or bad, all on their own. He’s scary, dark, romantic and mysterious here and leaves you wondering the whole way through.
Now for those of you interested in the seedier side of things, this movie delivers…gangbusters!! Heather Graham is naked from head to toe in many scenes, positions and alleyways. For the ladies, Joey Fiennes has no reservations about his ass either and he goes out of his way to show us just that. The sex scenes in the film are very raw and convincing and director Kaige does a bang-up (don’t forgive the pun) job capturing the uncontrollable urges these two have for one another. I believed it and rewinded it many times just to make sure I did! Just kidding...or am I? Anywho, in the end, it’s the u-turn this movie took that I didn’t appreciate. It had a believable sexual and romantic relationship going for a while, as well as a very beautiful score to set the mood just right, but then it went "Hollywood" by leading the audience into a lame thriller. They could’ve tried harder to show that paranoia and suspicion can build in a relationship without necessarily having an elaborate mystery to back it up (like 9 AND A HALF WEEKS did). They didn’t and that’s why I can’t fully recommend this film, despite a handful of good qualities.
They treat us to a few trailers including KILLING ME SOFTLY. There is also a featurette called “Banging for your Buck”, which focuses on Graham & Fiennes’ grueling method acting efforts, with behind-the-scenes moments of them having sex with each other in their trailers. There is an optional commentary track on this feature by Ralph Fiennes in which he rates his brother’s sexual capabilities. I’m kidding about that entire last part, of course.
If you want to escape into a world of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll (minus the drugs and rock n’ roll) and you enjoy the Fiennes’ be it a Joe or a “Rafe” then maybe you could stand to spend some time with this below average thriller. But if you expect more from your movies nowadays and you’re satisfied with Graham’s nude scenes in BOOGIE NIGHTS then skip this bastard and rent yourself a great Mickey Rourke movie instead (yes, there are good Mickey movies), I might have mentioned it already, 9 AND A HALF WEEKS!