One Night at McCool’s



USA 2001
director : Harald Szwart
script : Stan Seidel
cinematography : Karl W Lindenlaub
editing : Bruce Cannon
lead actors : Matt Dillon, Michael Douglas, Liv Tyler, John Goodman
93 minutes

Reader beware: do not, under any circumstances, pay money to see this movie. And if somebody is foolish enough to buy you the video as a Christmas present, throw it at them. Connoisseur of Really Bad Films, however, are urged to zoom down to their local multiplex before the distributors do the humane thing and put this prize dog out of its box-office misery. It’s a grindingly unfunny “comedy” in which a femme fatale (Tyler) beds a trio of hapless losers (Dillon, Paul Reiser, Goodman) and lures them into criminal acts to pay for her luxurious lifestyle. Or something. Clumsily written, edited, scored, directed, and acted, One Night at McCools is a depressing waste of time, talent and celluloid.

Then again, perhaps one shouldn’t be too hard on the cast – while Richard Jenkins, as a horny priest, is an early candidate for the 2001’s Worst Supporting Actor, Tyler does have a couple of fiery moments when she’s convincing in the impossible siren-vixen role. And Dillon once again shows a distinct comic flair as a well-meaning lunk, though what laughs he milks are more to do with his facial expressions than anything in the lame script (which starts with the ludicrous premise that this movie-star-looking bloke has difficulties attracting women!). Dillon, of course, is just an actor for hire – Douglas, who pops up as an ageing, bingo-playing, bizarrely-coiffed hitman, is also the movie’s producer, and as such must carry more of the blame. By the time Reiser shows up dressed, for some reason, in S+M gear, shortly followed by a gun-toting Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay (here credited under his real name of Andrew Silverstein) the film has gone way beyond the simply bad, exerting the appalling allure of a motorway pile-up. With fewer laughs.

4th May, 2001

For the many other films as bad as this (and worse) check out our Diorama of Dishonour

by Neil Young