Main cast: Liv Tyler (Jewel), Matt Dillon (Randy), Paul Reiser (Carl), John Goodman (Detective Dehling), Michael Douglas (Mr Burmeister), Reba McEntire (Dr Green), Richard Jenkins (Father Jimmy), Andrew Silverstein (Utah/Elmo), Leo Rossi (Joey Dinardo), and Andrea Bendewald (Karen)
Director: Harald Zwart
It’s Rashomon with whore/Madonna complex in One Night at McCool’s, a story of how a woman named Jewel wrecks havoc in three men’s lives. In this case, the story is told via three different points of view from three very different men.
Bartender Randy picks Jewel up after rescuing her from her violent boyfriend Elmo one night after his shift. They end up living together, and Randy soon finds himself stealing things to please her. He tells his story to aging, greasy, “stuck in 1970’s” hitman Mr Burmeister, whom he is hiring to kill Jewel.
His cousin Carl, a successful lawyer, is telling his shrink Dr Green (who obviously couldn’t stand this smirky, arrogant asshole) of his own lust for Jewel, and how he is sure that she actually wants him instead of Randy. He too allows Jewel to use him for her own purposes.
Then there’s Detective Dehling, who twists his lust for Jewel into some holy God-directed crusade to save her from the “evil men of her lives”, even though it’s clear she’s pretty much involved as much as those “evil men”. He attempts to justify and twist reality in his confession to his sexually frustrated priest Father Jimmy.
And Jewel? She’s actually rather not-there upstairs. (She has to be, to even want anything to do with these three losers.) She sees each men as a potential catalogue for the house she always wanted (don’t ask), and really, all she wants in the end is a house with first class entertainment system. And a fountain. Don’t forget the fountain.
Liv Tyler is obviously having the time of her life playing Madonna to Detective Dehling and whore to Carl and Randy. The scene where she makes love to the car is one for the guys. Ms Tyler is beautiful, and the careful lighting accentuates her features here. It is easy to see why the three morons can be so besotted quickly.
While this movie is fun, at the end of the day it is nothing more than an entertaining paean to male fantasy of the alluring, innocent temptress who gives good head. You know, the sort of morality tales guys love – hot woman comes into this loser guy’s life, bangs the brains out of him, and destroys his life. Jewel’s the woman every other guy fantasizes about. The black widow fantasy if you will.
But the movie stumbles badly in a pointless bloodbath ending. It is a funny ending – I have never laughed so hard in the last fifteen minutes, especially with its giving the finger to the Village People. But it’s an abrupt, disjointed ending to a rather flimsy but supremely entertaining movie.
Obligatory lech note: Matt Dillon should get unclothed more.