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One Night at McCool's




This is a clever movie. I still don't think Liv Tyler's all that strong an actress. For as pretty as she is, Liv's just blah. But, she's got some heavy hitters beside her. Namely, John Goodman, a natural fluent actor, super smooth talent Matt Dillon and Paul Reiser that wont let the movie slip into 'Luuded Livland.

ONAM's story goes...Three men have had the good fortune to meet Jewel (Liv Tyler) one fate filled night at McCool's, a sleazy neighborhood bar.

Bartender Randy (Matt "simply yummy" Dillon") happens upon the lovely young thing just as she's been accosted by a big bad man. Luckily for her Randy rescues her and takes her home...In more ways than one.

Suddenly Randy finds himself in a bad situation. Seems the big bad man from earlier in the evening is really Jewel's old man, Utah (Andrew Dice Clay). Yeah, her boyfriend. Her current supplier of man-love.The two of them are artists of the theatrical scam, and poor naive Randy's right smack in the middle of their second act. They bring Randy back to McCool's to rob him and...Oops, Utah has gotten himself killed.

Not to worry, Jewel and Randy work that out as love and lust find there way through, and they begin their lives as a happy-go-lucky dysfunctional couple.

Enter man two, Detective Dehling (John Goodman). He's investigating the death of the Utah in the bar earlier in the evening. As fast as you can say "boy is that Matt Dillon cute" the lonely detective is bitten right in the arse by a rabid smitt bug. To the big goon detective, Jewel is the epitome of innocence. In fact he's convinced Randy is the purest evil, that needs to locked up and permanently out of the gal's life. This newly found desire to be with Jewel brings on hilarious results.

Enter man three. Randy's suburban snake cousin Carl (Paul- I'm mad about him-Reiser). Carl's in dire need of affection. Young underdressed-pouty-lipped-red- haired, womanly affection. He's stuck in middle-class America with two kids and a brandname perfectly highlighted wife. He is in such bad mid-life crisis shape, he sports pink sweaters in public! So, having spotted Jewel back at McCool's and now finding his cousin Randy's actually seeing the object of his affection he pursues her via hot dogs and innuendoes. Eventually he finds a trade of his legal services for a bit of S&M play-offs will do the trick with Jewel. Carl too falls in amore with Jewel.

Young seductress, Jewel doesn't mind. She's well aware of her affect on the male libido and she's working the three of them like an oil rig foreman. Mean and rough.

It's not personal. Jewel just wants some of the finer things in life... Fine upholstery, a home entertainment system w/dvd, plush wall -to-wall carpet and, of course, a working water fountain in her livingroom. If she's got to murder, steal and connive to get it, all the better. Makes her feel like she's earned it. Ya know?

But, there's a fourth man interested in Jewel. He's been hired by one of the guys to bump her off. Enter the wig- sporting-polyester- wearing hitman (Michael"handsome in real life" Douglas). He's a creepy Tarantino like character, oblivious to her charms...dead set on completing his job.

McCool's is one wild place. A place where everyone knows your name, and their glad you came...wait that's Cheers. Right. McCool's is dump filled with scary folks and a cute bartender who, by a twist of planned fate, meet one dark evening with life altering results for all involved.

Speaking of the cute bartender...Folks, when exactly did Matt Dillon get so handsome? I've always loved anything he's in ( please find Albino Alligator and enjoy). However, I wish he'd do a bit more. 'Cause, in ONAM he is shirtless for the first section of the film and quite frankly is well on his way to becoming a Blunt obsession like those single packets of Frito's brand corn chips. I get him in small servings, filled with a satisfying high calorie richness and leaves one filled with a bad girl desire to live da vida loca and consume even more...

ONAM is well worth the ticket fee.Quite a few hoots and gaffaws keep the story moving. Matt does a great job per usual, Douglas, Goodman and Reiser are a riot. Liv's better, but, she's unlikely to ever be able to act her way out of a wet paper bag. She was pure plastic in Armageddon and she's not a strong a contender here either.

Snack Recommendation:
Pasta with onions and tomatoes, and beer.

Starring: Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, John Goodman, Paul Reiser, Andrew Clay, Michael Douglas, Richard Jenkins.

Directed by: Harald Zwart

Writing credits: Stan Seidel


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