Release Date: October 14th, 2005 (Loews 68th and B’way, Chelsea Cinemas East, Landmark Sunshine Cinemas) by THINKfilm.
The Cast: Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, Alison Lohman, David Hayman, Rachel Blanchard, Maury Chaykin, Kristin Adams.
Directed by Atom Egoyan.
BASIC PREMISE: Karen (Lohman), a young journalist, investigates a suspicious death that had been unsolved involving two celebrities, Vince Collins (Firth) and Lanny Morris (Bacon).
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The main problem with the plot is that all suspense is ruined because of how predictable it is from the very beginning. Most of the plot distractingly jumps back and forth from the present to flashbacks. There are very few surprises, other than a few very graphic sexual scenes—although no male frontal nudity. It doesn’t help that Alison Lohman gives a charming performance and looks very beautiful in every scene—no matter how many times her hair style/color changes! It is quite amazing that Colin Firth would chose to be typecast in a role that requires him to let go of his typically sweet and she personality like in Bridget Jones or Love Actually. The plot often seems redundant and takes forever to reach to its obvious conclusion. If only the script was not so stilted and let the characters immerse themselves in the story. It is hard to really care about anyone, especially Karen, who gradually becomes a central character in the plot. She’s not particularly likeable given her methods of uncovering the truth. On top of that, the dialogue is often humorless and dry. The cinematography and musical score are both great and effective, but that is not nearly enough to hold your interest.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: There is not much to take away from this film other than that the truth eventually comes back to haunt you no matter how deep it is buried in the past. It is not profound or insightful that celebrities can be just as screwed up as the average person—all you have to do is open the newspaper to see that.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Predictable plot and stilted dialogue.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
THE BOTTOM LINE: Despite great performances and cinematography, the plot is not surprising and the weak script doesn’t make any of the characters feel real enough to make this as engaging and as powerful as it could have been.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD
The "W" Menu