Alex, a hit man, tries to get out of the family business, but his father won't let him do so. While seeking the help of a therapist, he meets a sexually charged 23-year-old woman with whom he falls in love.
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Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Baker Hall,
John C. Reilly,
Alex, a sad-eyed mournful man, goes into psychotherapy: he discloses he's a hit man. He also tells the doctor, after a few sessions, that he's attracted to a young woman he's met in the waiting room. She's Sarah, 23, quick, edgy, and perhaps attracted to him as well. But he's married, the dutiful father of a young precocious boy, so Sarah brushes him off. In flashbacks we see him get his start as a killer, at his father's prompting: it's the family business. Dad gives Alex his next assignment: to kill the therapist. Alex keeps returning to Sarah, calling her, stopping by her apartment, as he decides what to do about the hit, his father, his marriage, and his malaise. Written by
This is the kind of movie Hollywood needs to make more of. No extravagant props, no car chases, no clever one-liners. Just people dealing with being people.
William Macy plays an unlikely hitman who works for his father, Donald Sutherland. Macy is the dutiful son, Sutherland is the domineering father. Son wants out of the business, father won't let him. Macy loves his own son, played beautifully by David Dorfman ("The Ring"). He also starts to fall in love with Neve Campbell, a girl he meets in the waiting room of his psychiatrist's office.
It's an interesting juxtaposition of characters and the film follows the reluctant killer as he balances his own needs with those of his family. There are many touching scenes, especially between Macy and his little boy. And as you'd expect in a film with William Macy in it, there's a bit of humor too.
Excellent job all around, actors and director. Nice to know they can still make a good film in Hollywood on a small budget.
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