2 Days in the Valley
With its four intersecting stories, 2 Days in the Valley falls somewhere between Short Cuts and Pulp Fiction, though it lacks the cutting-edge hipness of both. But the quirky film works as a comic film noir and offers up endearing characters. Ultra-cool Lee Woods (Spader) hires hitman Dosmo Pizzo (Aiello) to kill Roy Fox (Horton) in a complicated insurance scam. At the time of the murder, two vice cops (Daniels and Stoltz), who want to move to homicide, bungle a massage-parlor bust. Obnoxious, twitty art dealer Alan Hopper (Cruttwell) gets his comeuppance when he suffers a kidney stone attack in the middle of a street. Pizzo ends up holding Hopper and his secretary (Headly) hostage and cooks them a sumptuous pasta dish. The last vignette features a down-and-out writer and director (Mazursky), who puts his suicide on hold until he can find someone to care for his dog. While contemplating his dog's future, he meets a nurse (Fletcher), who volunteers her brother, Alan Hopper, to adopt the beloved dog. Aiello loads the film with laughs and emerges as the scene stealer.
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