A young man is plunged into a life of subterfuge, deceit and mistaken identity in pursuit of a femme fatale whose heart is never quite within his grasp. Remake of François Truffaut's 1969 film 'Mississippi Mermaid'
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When a man selects a mail order bride, he is surprised to see the beauty who appears before him. She alleges that she sent false photos to him to assure that he would love her for what she is and not for her beauty. However, what she is is a con artist, prostitute, and actress, who teams with a fellow actor to steal money from men. What she does not expect is that she falls in love with her new husband and ultimately must decide between him and her sadistic former lover. Contains explicit sex including sadistic acts as Thomas Jane cuts Jolie's back with a knife as part of their lovemaking. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Flagrantly ridiculous; one can have a good time laughing at it in spite of Antonio's strong performance...
A wealthy, handsome businessman in 1880s Havana advertises in the States for a marriageable woman to sail to his country, become his bride, and bear his children; however, the sultry, lusty young thing who arrives from Delaware curiously bears no resemblance to the photograph she has sent (she's even hotter!), and soon a private detective is snooping about asking questions. Cornell Woolrich's novel "Waltz Into Darkness" would seem an ideal murder-mystery/sexual thriller to absorb a modern-day audience (as a storyteller, Woolrich was far ahead of his time), but writer-director Michael Cristofer doesn't have the teasing personality, nor the sure-handed style, to bring out the juicy twists of this tale. Leads Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie look good together in and out of their clothes, but his forceful, full-blooded acting eclipses hers by a mile. Jolie is not convincing in this period setting; she has little range and, once the camera begins feasting upon her features in Mount Rushmore-like close-ups, her focus visibly wavers (it's a dreadful performance). Told in flashback, we are immediately privy to Jolie's mysteries, with an outcome that defies explanation. Cristofer intermittently tries out different photographic tricks and editing techniques, presumably to pad the running time but in effect showing off his uncertainty as a filmmaker. The dialogue (and Jolie's indifferent delivery of it) is often ludicrously funny, though Banderas deserves credit for at least attempting to take his part of the project seriously. *1/2 from ****
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