Michael, a wimpy young executive, is about to get pulverized by a jealous boyfriend in a bar when a handsome, mysterious stranger steps in--and then disappears. Later that night, while ...
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Max Baron (James Spader) is a 27-year-old high-flying advertising executive still recovering from the death of his wife. One night he is in a bar when he meets Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon), ... See full summary »
Terry is having an affair with his boss' wife Sylvia. One night after an office party they are together and Sylvia witnesses an attack on Denise from Terry's bedroom window. She doesn't ... See full summary »
A recently orphaned millionairess, Olivia, really hates her scheming step-father. Olivia finds love with a young yacht racing captain, Tim, who isn't completely truthful with her. When the ... See full summary »
Michael, a wimpy young executive, is about to get pulverized by a jealous boyfriend in a bar when a handsome, mysterious stranger steps in--and then disappears. Later that night, while jogging, Michael runs into the stranger on a pier. He introduces himself as Alex, and the two go out to an under- ground club. Within a matter of days, Alex wheedles his way into Michael's life and turns it upside down, and Michael doesn't realize that Alex is a dangerous sociopath until it's too late. Written by
Denise P. Meyer <email@example.com>
In chapter seventeen of Rob Lowe's autobiography "Stories I Only Tell My Friends", he describes being at rehearsals in a church off Highland Avenue when he is asked to approve his make-up artist, Sheryl Berkoff. He recognises her because, years before, they'd been on a blind date together. He describes her as 'an artist of the face' who 'knows her shit cold'. In July of 1991, he married her. He also suggests that Bad Influence was originally submitted as a writing sample to producer Steve Tisch ("the only man with both an Oscar and a Superbowl trophy"). Lowe had originally wanted to play the role of Michael, "the average Joe", but was taken to lunch by David Koepp, and talked into taking the role of Alex. He describes Tom Brokaw leading the evening news with the Rob Lowe sex tapes, and following that item with news about Tiananmen square. See more »
Lowe wore a glove on one hand to smear blood on the wall of Michael's apartment. In the following scene, the glove switched hands. See more »
No, you're gonna die with your mouth shut.
Then do it.
You can't... 'cause I never showed you how.
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Now that Curtis Hanson is on the Hollywood A-List after the excellent neo-noir "L.A. Confidential", perhaps "Bad Influence" will be re-discovered for what it is, a contemporary noir classic. Michael, played by James Spader, is one step away from a nervous breakdown. His fiancee is planning a wedding he is none-to-thrilled about, while his career is at a crossroads. Someone will get that key promotion, but Michael won't unless he can find his schedule report which has mysteriously disappeared. He suspects his work rival, Patterson, but is too much of a wimp to confront him. He has been doubling up in pain from what he thinks is an ulcer from the stress. He leaves work for a fateful drink at a beach dive bar. He lamely hits on a woman, whose boyfriend Michael does not back down from. Michael gets saved by Alex or Tony (?), played by Rob Lowe, who menacingly breaks a beer bottle and threatens the boyfriend. Alex we see at the beginning of the movie as leaving a beautiful woman's bed stealthily. The photo he destroys of him and the woman shooting guns together foreshadows the violence that comes later. Alex leaves Michael at the bar and Michael discovers his wallet is gone, but does not know how he lost it. While jogging later, Alex stops by the bar to leave his name for the wallet. He finishes his run at one of the L.A. piers, he sees Alex, who, of course, is with a woman pleading with him to stay with her. Alex blows off the woman and he and Michael have a drink together. Alex starts teaching him how to use the side of him that didn't back down to the gorilla at the bar. What ensues is a Freudian Cain and Abel story with Faustian overtones. Alex becomes Michael's tutor in the art of becoming a bad-ass, while Michael becomes something Alex hasn't had in quite some time: a friend. When Michael's backbone becomes strong enough to stand up to the unpredictably violent Alex, the movie becomes a cunning duel between two guys who know L.A. isn't big enough for both of them. The scenes of L.A.'s sinister club life and the people, like Alex, who thrive in it serve as superb snapshots of the decadence of the late-80s. The conspicuous consumption of yuppies and the advent of the home video camera as a sexual metaphor are wickedly exposed. This movie was simply ahead of its time. It's Rob Lowe's best work and James Spader is awesome, his transformation is expertly done. Plus, I'm eagerly awaiting Curtis Hanson's next movie. Has anyone ever captured the evil that lurks underneath the surface of L.A. better? "Bad Influence" is a must-see for the serious film enthusiast.
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