Main cast: Heather Graham (Alice Loudon), Joseph Fiennes (Adam Tallis), Natascha McElhone (Deborah Tallis), Ulrich Thomsen (Klaus), and Ian Hart (Daniel)
Director: Chen Kaige
After Farewell My Concubine and Temptress Moon, Chen Kaige decides to try his hand at directing an English movie, this “erotic thriller” Killing Me Softly. Oh my goodness, this movie is so atrocious and hammy and filled with so many stupid dialogues that it’s like Chen Kaige’s interpreter had played a tasteless joke on the man.
Heather Graham, sporting an eerily monotonous expression in all her scenes, orgasmic or terrified, plays Alice London, an ad company executive who encounters the mysterious Adam Tallis one morning at the traffic light. Never mind that she is living with someone, she just has to end up having wild monkey sex with Adam. This mild sado-asphyxiative antics of theirs culminate in their marriage. That’s when Alice starts getting anonymous notes warning her of her husband. Finally, that stupid woman realizes that the man she has witnessed almost killing a mugger, the man who asks her to pose naked by cemetery headstones, and who runs like T2000 running low on oil – finally after a note comes, she realizes that her husband may not be that sane after all.
This is the movie to watch if you want to see Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes all naked (but no unobstructed frontals though) and engaging in stimulated sex as erotic as watching dogs hump on the streets. Or if you love laughing and bitching at the truly atrocious fashion – Julia’s “wedding dress” and Adam’s all-black jumper are truly to die-laughing at, even a certain Mr Blackwell will probably die of multiple orgasms at the sheer fashion atrocity in this movie.
The plot is pathetic, and Julia, to be blunt, is braindead. When her husband terrifies her, she runs right to his sister for help. Yes, his sister. “You’re his sister, but you are also my friend.” Let’s just say Julia won’t be winning any prizes quiz shows anytime soon. If the script is laughable, Heather Graham doesn’t help matters with her single facial expression for every scene in this movie. Joseph Fiennes? Oh dear, that man seems to believe that putting on that constipated face is what we call “Byronesque moodiness”. Both of them exude the sexual chemistry of a carrot stuffed in a toilet bowl.
Still, such movies can be grand fun if the camp-o-meter hits the roof. But for Killing Me Softly, it’s just awful, so awful that it is the kind of movies people rent and play at parties just for laughs.
Chen Kaige, China’s calling. Come home. All is forgiven.