One Night at Mccool's (2001)

ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL'S, a quirky, funny-but-hollow, multiple POV-us-
ing, male sex fantasy slash comic caper features some of the sea-
son's most amusingly appearing actors, starting with Matt Dillon's 
dirt-poor, sucker-for-a-sex-goddess, bartending main character who, 
here, inexplicably looks like Jim Carrey crossed with Sly Stallone. 
Really.  (Is it the beetle brow and bushy hair?  And is there a lit-
tle Elvis in there, as well?)  Then, met inside a bingo parlor, is  
Michael Douglas' Guy Who Figgers Into Things Later, the actor wear-
ing a shocking coif swiped from Carl Perkins, his slicked cliff 
stacked stiff above taut, squalid skin.  Stained teeth, too, grin-
ning lecherously as Dillon's character spins his lewd, sorry story.  
(Plus one spit-take, simultaneous with Mr. Matt doing same in flash-
back.)  Forget his TRAFFIC courting, Douglas looks at least twenty 
years older here.  And, for that matter, is a dead-ringer for his 
late, great father.  Too funny.  Then, and nearly trumping the a-
forementioned pair, is longtime-MIA comic Andrew Dice Clay, also en-
dowed with Hilarious Hair(tm).  His is Harley-style, meaning thick, 
straight, and shoulder-length black.  And a full face of shoe-polish 
stubble, with tattoos a-aplenty on each arm, and wearing a Rob Hal-
ford-style, silver-studded, leather vest.  Yowza!  (And let's not 
forget dear, drawling Reba McEntire's extended cameo as a... clini-
cal psychologist.  My, what big short hair you have, Mrs. Freud!)

These characters and others-- including Paul Reiser's unhappily mar-
ried, S&M-discovering lawyer and John Goodman's widowed, horny, and 
now guilt-wrecked police detective-- are brought together by fate in 
the form of a red dress, Liv Tyler, looking more air-brushed than 
ever, all T and A and impossibly long legs while doing her best Judy 
Garland-as-Dorothy, wide-eyed cooing.  (In fact, the film could be a 
love letter to Ms. Tyler, given the sheer number of slow-mo, hazy-
filtered, every-woman-in-the-theater-rolling-her-eyes camera cares-
ses.)  The plot has Tyler's innocent-acting hay-roller wrapping the 
various men around her finger, starting with Dillon and working her 
way right down the cast list.  (Her black widow-like motives involve 
a long-unfulfilled desire to... own a fully furnished home.  And 
that *does* include a body count, like one poor, c*ck-teased sucker 
who suffers Death By DVD.)  Alas, there's nary any steam to Ms. Ty-
ler's smolder.  The actress' performance, like everyone else's, is  
just a little too... jokey to take seriously.  Or sexily.  Or even 
suspense-fully.  This ain't no noir nail-biter, despite the three-
way flashbacks, the (sometime) hard-boiled narration, and yet an-
other slow-moving, feather-flying, everyone-gets-shot, living-room 
shoot-out.  Yawn.  Makes for a not-boring movie, however.  And some 
of the gags are bonafide bulls eyes, like a later Village People mo-
ment.  Or Dillon too-casually using the word "bingo."  Or, my fave, 
the eleventh-hour appearance of a surprise character dressed as Mi-
chael Douglas' infamous Angry White Guy with a Gun in FALLING DOWN.  
LOL.  (Rated "R"/93 min.)

Grade: C-

Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros