Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1999. Columbia Pictures, Banner Entertainment, Saratoga Entertainment. Directed by Doug Liman. Screenplay by John August. Cinematography by Doug Liman. Produced by Matt Freeman, Mickey Liddell, Paul Rosenberg. Music by BT, Moby. Production Design by Thomas P. Wilkins. Costume Design by Genevieve Tyrrell. Film Editing by Stephen Mirrione. Independent Spirit Awards 1999.
Painfully hip and flashy comedy about fast-living twentysomethings who can’t keep themselves out of trouble. Told in a wrap-around trilogy, the story starts with Sarah Polley as an overworked grocery store clerk who tries to break into the big business of drug dealing but ends up biting off more than she can chew. Next up is Desmond Askew traveling to Vegas and getting into a whole mess of trouble with the owner of a stripjoint after he touches his private dancer when she specifically forbade him to do so. Third story has bickering boyfriends Jay Mohr and Scott Wolf trying to figure out what’s gone wrong in their relationship, specifically who is cheating with whom. Many have compared the film to Pulp Fiction mostly because of the three-ply plotting, but really there’s no other similarity (Milcho Manchevski’s Macedonian film Before The Rain had the same setup) All the actors perform exceptionally well, especially Timothy Olyphant as the wisecracking drug dealer and Katie Holmes as his temporary collateral hostage. Even Polley’s flat delivery and lackluster expressions are perfectly suited to the moody and somber character she’s playing.