The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.
What happened here?
There are so many problems with this dull, listless filmization of the James M. Cain classic, where does one begin? Well, let's start from the beginning. It tries to compete with the great 1946 version. How do you top a film as brilliant as that? The answer is, you don't! Even if this new version does follow the original novel more closely, who cares? As the tragic, plotting lovers, Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson have absolutely no chemistry whatsoever, so they generate very little heat in their allegedly steamy sex scenes. It's as if the filmmakers were so aware of the miscasting that they tried to disguise this by making the sex scenes between the duo more erotic, meaning more explicit. BIG MISTAKE! This just makes the lack of chemistry even more painfully obvious, and the sex scenes rather silly. Despite having virtually nothing in common, Nicholson and Lange can't keep their hands off of each other and do a lot of huffing and puffing. They go at it like two wild animals in heat, but this does little to make the film any more watchable or entertaining. Yes, Lange is even more breathtakingly beautiful than usual, and she brings more intensity and depth to the role than the script really required. But, whether she knows it or not, Nicholson is a constant thorn in her side. Sure, Jack is a great actor too, but, even though his character is a plotting murderer, there was a romantic edge to the role when John Garfield played it in 1946, and Nicholson does not have one bit of that romanticism. I still kringe when I think of him as the love interest in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT. How did he ever get to be cast in parts like that? Stay as clear from this as possible and settle only for the untoppable original.
- Nov 22, 2000
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