Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL'S (2001). Director: Harald Zwart.

Bartender Randy (Matt Dillon) rescues a young lady, Jewel (Liv Tyler of The Incredible Hulk), from an abusive man outside the bar where he works, and soon finds himself entangled up in her life as she moves in with him. Jewel has an immediate mesmeric and sensual effect on most of the men she encounters, which includes Randy's married, S & M-loving cousin, Carl (Paul Reiser) and the portly, potato-faced Detective Dehling (John Goodman of Speed Racer), both of whom are instantly smitten. The three men tell their stories to people they know: Randy sounds off to Burmeister (Michael Douglas, who also produced) in a bingo hall; Carl tells his troubles to his shrink, Dr. Green (Reba McIntire); and Dehling confesses to an associate that Jewel reminds him of a lost love . The performances are okay, with Douglas [Behind the Candelabra]  -- with a puffed up mullet hairdo -- having the most fun. The trouble with this black comedy is that it's frenetic but not all that funny. The most interesting thing about it is some of the casting.

Verdict: Not so cool -- and not so hot, either. *1/2.

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