One Night at McCools

Year: 2001
Production Co: Further Films
Director: Harald Zwart
Producer: Michael Douglas
Cast: Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, Paul Reiser, John Goodman, Michael Douglas, Richard Jenkins, Andrew Dice Clay
Yes it was another veiled message that every beautiful woman will destroy you and is bad, deceitful and wicked. Three men (idiots, each in their own way) are bedevilled by the beautiful temptress Jewel (Tyler) - Randy (Dillon, an ordinary loser), his cousin Carl (Reiser, an egotistical, kinky lawyer) and the widowed detective (Goodman). She's all things to all three and has each eating out of the palm of her hand, and the film follows the story of how she plays one off the other to get her scheming way - a dream house with all the mod cons.

It was a well executed, quirky idea (told in the form of flashbacks). But some of the lynchpins that were expected to hold everything together never materialised (the story hinted the whole way through she'd be in cahoots with the hitman - Douglas - hired by Randy).

The ending came from a strange angle - a bloody shootout with an icy cold villain - and several things were left unresolved. But the characters were great, Paul Reiser's sleazy neurotic was a treat to watch, and such a complicated story wove itself together very well, sometimes on the most tenuous of links. It's a surprise to see Liv Tyler so vampish - even in Stealing Beauty she played an innocent beauty. And John Goodman is a rare kind of actor - he can be in the most commercial of blockbusters one minute and the weirdest of indie projects the next.

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