An oh-so-cool exercises in Lower Manhattan chic, this darkly humorous love story yearns to be fresh and quirky but tastes like day-old goods from the crime-glamour bakery. Mob-enforcer Johnny (Eric Thal), whose daily duties include debt collecting, falls for haughty bartender Tracy (Naomi Campbell). While Tracy waits for Johnny after work, she sees Johnny's associates beat a welcher to death. Although Johnny's volatile Uncle Walt (Beau Starr) orders a hit on Tracy, the smitten Johnny kidnaps her instead. The course of hostage-love doesn't run smooth, for a variety of reasons. The defiant Tracy keeps trying to escape; control-freak Walt wants Johnny to romance his unstable goddaughter, Lana (Terri Hawkes); and Walt imports a cold-as-ice hit man to instruct Johnny in the art of killing. Caught between family loyalty and desire, Johnny is forced to consider a lifestyle change. Director Steve DiMarco seems to have modeled his worldview on Lina Wertmuller's, but confuses superficiality with detachment and treats the film's homicidal gangsters like comical bumblers. Screenwriters Carl Haber and Lauren McLaughlin suggest that Johnny's distaste for assassination makes him a virtuous guy, overlooking his overall propensity to violence. Even the music is poorly chosen: While it could have been used to invest the offbeat romance with suggestive rhythmic energy, the film's energy is sapped by generic swing music. Because Thal and Campbell are pretty people, the movie is watchable. But they squabble like a fashion designer and a model at a runway show; nothing seems at stake when they square off. What's left is a vapid romance between a leg-breaker and a snippy beauty.
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- Released: 1999
- Rating: R
- Review: An oh-so-cool exercises in Lower Manhattan chic, this darkly humorous love story yearns to be fresh and quirky but tastes like day-old goods from the crime-glamour bakery. Mob-enforcer Johnny (Eric Thal), whose daily duties include debt collecting, falls f… (more)