One Night At McCool’s

Review Date:
Director: Harald Zwart
Writer: Stan Seidel
Producers: Michael Douglas, Allison Lyon Segan
Liv Tyler as Jewel Valentine, Matt Dillon as Randy, John Goodman as Detective Dehling
A sexy babe with a knack for getting chumps to fall for her, hooks up with three different guys, a bartender, a lawyer and a cop, and twists all of their lives into a tizzy.
This movie bored me. I didn’t laugh much, I didn’t smile much and I certainly didn’t care much for any of its characters. It’s a typical “video movie” stacked with actors who are past their prime, featuring one hot lead and a pretty cool character played by the film’s producer, Michael Douglas. It’s not necessarily a “bad” movie per se, but one that doesn’t really offer much of anything good either. I mean, two minutes after I left the theatre, I could barely remember one scene that stood out in my mind (other than the final frame, which was admittedly…very cool!). And that’s despite the film starting off with a semi-interesting premise, through which we get to see the story told via three different perspectives (think Rashomon), but for me, much of it just wasn’t interesting or entertaining. I think it might’ve been much funnier had they made each of the viewpoints very different from one another, as opposed to the slight changes in perspective featured now. I was personally rarin’ to press the STOP button about halfway through this sucker, till I realized that I was puttering around in a movie theatre and not my dingy basement. So I continued to watch Liv Tyler prance around, looking hot and twirling all these bozos around her little bitty fingers, but did I care? Not really.

And if caring or at least relating or understanding the characters wasn’t this film’s prime motivation, than I guess laughs was on top of its list, right? Wrong! Other than Paul Reiser, who really did play an excellent arrogant bastard, most of the film relied on very light humor, which didn’t really get along with my funny bone. And how can anyone take Andrew Dice Clay seriously in any role that he plays nowadays? I mean, geez, “Look honey, it’s Andrew Dice Clay in a beard!” Tick-tock. And I’ll even go as far as to give the director some props for quite a bit of slick style early on in the film, with some nice camera tricks, fades and fantasy sequences, but once the movie got going, it seemed like much of it just rattled out into neutral. Yeah sure, the flick definitely woke me up during its last ten minutes, with a pretty funky shoot-out (an obvious homage to TRUE ROMANCE) and a nice touch via The Village People’s “YMCA” playing off in the background. But alas, for me, this dog was put to sleep quite some time before that. So is it a bad movie? No, not necessarily…but it ain’t much of anything else either. Little laughs, little skin, little drama and little interest in any of the characters drowned me out of this one about halfway to the finish line. Now I think it’s time for another drink!

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

One Night at McCool's