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Hiep Thi Le,
Tommy Lee Jones,
Haing S. Ngor
A twisted take on 'Little Red Riding Hood' with a teenage juvenile delinquent on the run from a social worker traveling to her grandmother's house and being hounded by a charming, but sadistic, serial killer/pedophile.
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Sergeant Rita Pompano:
Oh, now this makes me sick. Woman gets four million dollars for spilling coffee on herself. I do that every morning, what do I get? Coffee stains.
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At the very end of the credits, there's a new brief scene showing Sandra walking down the aisle in the church with the collection plate in her hands a smile on her face. See more »
A disjointed comedic film noir that's not very good - 40%
It is extremely difficult to sleep in weather like this, especially if you're off work and not doing much during the day. That may sound like the understatement of the year but it's the only reason I can think of for watching this anonymous film last night on BBC 1. Described as a comic thriller (surely an oxymoron if ever there was one), I was reminded of so many other films whilst watching "Goodbye Lover" and nearly all of them were better than this. Despite an impressive cast, its lack of cohesion causes the plot to twist so much that it ends up eating its own tail. A shame, really, because Patricia Arquette's femme fatale is such a good character that she doesn't deserve to languish in this turgid mess.
Don Johnson plays Ben, a PR guru working alongside his alcoholic brother Jake (Dermot Mulroney). But Ben hides a secret - he has been having an affair with Jake's wife Sandra (Arquette). After meeting and falling for Peggy (Mary-Louise Parker) at work, Ben decides to end the relationship with Sandra but she is reluctant to let go of him. Before long, things take a murderous twist and it's up to foul-mouthed Detective Pompano (Ellen DeGeneres) and her buttoned-up partner (Ray McKinnon) to solve the case.
In what must be the heist of the century, this film borrows so much from other films that it must be a criminal offence. It reminded me of things like "Fatal Attraction" and "Basic Instinct" but while there is nothing wrong with these influences, "Goodbye Lover" is a long way from those giddy heights. It had that awful 'TV movie' feel to it all and at times, it looked cheap and tacky. Credit is due to the actors, especially Arquette and DeGeneres who comes across quite differently from other things I've seen her in. But the writing is the biggest let-down and by the time the climax had arrived, I was no longer surprised by yet another twist. I'm sure, if you pay attention to things like this, you'll see them all coming but personally, each new twist came as a disjointed shock to the system and made the whole film feel disconnected and written on the fly. The only character I had any sympathy for was poor murdered Ben and it's not right that the character you empathise with the most is only in it for the first third of the movie.
I honestly don't feel as if this movie is worth all the praise others seemed to have heaped on it. It's silly, not that funny (unless people making love in a church is your idea of comedy) and unlikely to hold your interest for too long. Yes, Arquette steals the movie with vampish ease but if I want to watch a decent modern film noir then I'll stick with "Body Heat" which is better, sexier and much more enjoyable. This, by contrast, is needlessly convoluted and not nearly as much fun. Serves me right - I should have been trying to get to sleep instead of watching this.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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