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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.64%
Worth A Look: 27.27%
Average: 9.09%
Pretty Bad: 9.09%
Total Crap40.91%

2 reviews, 10 user ratings

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One Night Stand (1997)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Or 'How to make 95 minutes feel like 400.'"
1 stars

I really hated this movie. I don't know what it is, but I simply do NOT get the 'genius' of Mike Figgis. One Night Stand blows it in the first 3 seconds, when Wesley Snipes introduces himself to the audience and gives us some dull back story. Someone should have told Mr. Figgis that this is quite a cheap way to give plot exposition, plus I don't want Wesley Snipes talking to me. Ever.

What makes it even more annoying is that he only does it that once. He's like "Hi, I'm Max. Charlies' my friend. He's gay. Mimi's my wife. She's Asian. I used to live here in New York until I got a nasty case of crabs and moved to L.A." Then he stops and the actual 'plot' starts. So I'm left thinking "Is Max gonna talk to me again? Is the fourth wall now shut down or what? Is this a story he's TELLING us or showing us or what?" He doesn't talk to us for the rest of the movie, and it really hurt my feelings. I was hoping to hear dialogue like "OK, now I'm screwing Nastassja Kinski. It feels good, but I feel a little guilty cheating on my wife..." OK, enough about that. There's plenty to hate in this movie.

Dreary, indulgent, annoying, pretentious, self-important, dull and boring are adjectives that would describe this movie if it were just a little better. Here's the story. Hip commercial director Max is in NY for some meetings. He ends up in bed with another woman, and he screws her. He hops on a plane (without SHOWERING!) and the first thing his imbecile wife says is "Gee, honey--What's that smell?" (Try not to slap your forehead too hard.) Then he gets home and his kids say he smells and his dog keeps sniffing his crotch. Max looks all flustered with this "adulterer" look on his face and adjourns to the shower, finally.

So Max has some guilt-ridden sex with his clueless wife, in what may be the funniest sex scene I've ever seen. Now picture Ming Na-Wen, the pretty Asian actress from that Jonathan Silverman sitcom a few years back. Now picture her on all fours, with a sweaty Wesley behind her goin' to town. She's gasping, screaming, sweating, gyrating and basically just acting like a virgin sheep being deflowered by a rabid rhino. I swear, it's easily the most entertaining thing in this movie, although I had to keep turning down the volume so my family didn't think I was watching "Anal Screamers, Vol. 4".

After this hysterical scene, not a whole lot happens until Charlie (played actually quite well by Robert Downey Jr.) gets AIDS and spends the rest of the movie in the hospital, surrounded by friends and lovers and nurses and Max and his wife and, eventually, the girl he slammed a year earlier. Why does SHE show up? Well, because she's Charlie's sister-in-law, of course. (I love a movie that invents astronomical coincidences as if they were everyday occurences.) Wesley could have played Mandingo with any one of 20 million New York women, but he somehow knew to sleep with the ONE woman who would make every audience member roll their eyes in disbelief at the contrivance of the plot. Turns out Charlie's brother is Kyle McLachlan with grey streaks. I'll leave the plot gymnastics there, as they culminate in perhaps the most retarded ending in movie history.

So back to Mike Figgis. Someone PLEASE tell me why he gets such raves. I thought Leaving Las Vegas was a universally overrated and ridiculously depressing movie. Internal Affairs is an OK cop movie, but the other ones I've seen (Miss Julie, The Browning Version, Mr. Jones) were simply perfect balances between boredeom and pretense. Allegedly, Mr. Figgis adapted the screenplay for One Night Stand from a script by Joe Eszterhaus. Hoo boy. If there's ever a writing duo that should live in different countries, it's these two.

Look, examining the ugly minutae of an adulterer could make for an interesting movie, but this sure as hell ain't it. This movie scratches the surface on a few insightful points, but they're quickly jettisoned for scenes of overbearing banality and just plain stupidity. And the ending? Don't say you weren't warned.

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originally posted: 02/22/00 07:20:15
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User Comments

10/20/13 Candice if Downey Jr hadn't been busy being AWESOME in this film I wouldn't have even kept watching 2 stars
2/16/08 charles raiteri It's like Figgis set out to have a little fun at at the expense of his audience. 1 stars
5/15/07 yuko as always downey jr was brilliant. one of the greatest actors on earth! 5 stars
3/16/05 Ronin Scott you give Dracula 3000 one star and this one one star too? Now come on... 3 stars
2/17/04 David The scene with the dog sniffing his crotch is so only when drunk. 1 stars
11/29/02 vishal were all the so called actors in this movie ZOMBIES? 1 stars
9/14/01 Butterbean This movie was mediocre with an ending that made me say, "Who gives a shit?!" 3 stars
9/16/00 john smith wonderful Mike F. film like all his stuff ... great to watch ... the above critic is nuts 5 stars
10/12/98 MR HOLLYWOOD !! FIGGIS DOES IT out for wesley/na-wens sex scene..,Downey Jnr is excellent. 5 stars
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  14-Nov-1997 (R)



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