Over the course of a single day, four different men visit a massage parlor looking for some kind of emotional or physical connection. Simultaneously, the film explores the complex emotional experiences of the women who work there.
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) a... See full summary »
Marty Lakewood is a reporter forced to leave Chicago and his family because he had uncovered too much police corruption. He returns to his small home town on the California coast to his ... See full summary »
When Sonny goes outside to the parking lot to wait for Leroy to show up with the car, his jacket is totally clean with no blood on it. In the shots immediately before and after this, his jacket is spattered with blood on the left shoulder. See more »
With the success of Secretary director Steven Shainberg's earlier film Hit Me nows comes out on DVD. Unfortunately Hit Me would have benefited from a more experienced director adapting the source material, Jim Thompson's novel A Swell Looking Babe. Thompson's work has been extremely difficult to film inasmuch as most of his writing relates to the inner thoughts and emotions of his characters, rather that simply plot and dialog. Director Shainberg and leading man Elias Koteas attempt to deal with this through an over the top display of physical acting. If facial contortions represent emotion then obviously even more facial contortions represents even more emotion. This is combined with leading lady Laure Marsac who is blank faced throughout the film (although this French actress might have had trouble in English). Jim Thompson's novels contain a strong element of black comedy and initially, based on these acting choices and the bright lighting not associated with noir films, I thought Shainberg was going for black comedy. Imagine my surprise, as the film progressed and I discovered that we were supposed to take this seriously. It completely fails to work. It is not dark enough to reflect Thompson's noir and not comedic enough to reflect Thompson's black comedy. These choices ultimately have to laid at the feet of director Shainberg. Of the lesser characters, William H. Macy, highlighted in the DVD advertising, has a single short scene as a cop questioning Koteas. Macy is amusing as he cites the last meals of various killers. Philip Baker Hall uses his strong presence to offset a poorly written character. Tragically this was Haing S. Ngor's last film before he was senselessly killed in a robbery. He has only a few lines, as a hotel clerk, and its sad to think that this is the last role for an Academy award winner (The Killing Fields). All in all, you would be more entertained buying Thompson's novel than buying this DVD.
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