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One Night At McCool's

Director:Harald Zwart
Writer:Stan Seidel
USA Films; R; 93 minutes
Release:4/01
Cast:Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, John Goodman

“This is a movie,” one can imagine the production team explaining, “about subjectivity and desire.” It comes as no surprise to learn that Michael Douglas—familiar with the appreciation of much younger women—is one of One Night At McCool's main producers. The night in question illuminates randy Randy (Matt Dillon), his lawyer cousin Carl (Paul Reiser), and detective Dehling (John Goodman) in the sexual aura of Jewel (Liv Tyler). After meeting the lowlife bartender Randy, Tyler's nymphet involves him in a homicide and readily moves in to his decrepit home. In the circumstances surrounding the murder, Randy's cousin and the investigator are all bewitched by Jewel's erotic spell. Fluffy stuff indeed.

The only thing One Night At McCool's has going for it (other than a delightful performance by Michael Douglas as a bored, badly toupeed hitman) is its narrative structure. Each man recounts his version of that fateful night to another male friend, and in the process very different stories emerge. But none of them are interesting. The occasional joke scuttles out like a bug from under a rock. Cinematographers work overtime, flaunting Liv Tyler's sex appeal in hopes that the audience will receive the same frustrated rush as the three one-dimensional cads.


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