A Cool, Dry Place

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Drama, Romance

Its heart is in the right place, but this sweet drama just doesn't build enough true drama from its slender premise. That said, it's not bad enough to merit the kind of stealth release its studio has imposed on it. Big-city trial lawyer Russ Durrell (Vince Vaughn) has taken a detour from the rat race, but not a voluntary one: The abrupt departure of his...read more

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Reviewed by Sandra Contreras
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Its heart is in the right place, but this sweet drama just doesn't build enough true drama from its slender premise. That said, it's not bad enough to merit the kind of stealth release its studio has imposed on it. Big-city trial lawyer Russ Durrell (Vince

Vaughn) has taken a detour from the rat race, but not a voluntary one: The abrupt departure of his wife Kate (Monica Potter) 18 months ago left him saddled with mischievous preschooler Calvin (Bobby Moat), and Russ's corporate law firm gave him the boot when he started spending more time rearing

his boy than billing clients. A college buddy steps in and gives Russ a job at his firm, but small-town life frustrates Russ, and the cumulative pressures of single fatherhood are wearing him down. And Russ's attempts to get a better job in the city are blocked by the kind of problems with which

single moms everywhere are all too familiar, including absentee baby-sitters and Cal's never-ending needs. Then Russ meets Beth (Joey Lauren Adams), and sparks fly -- until their fledgling romance is interrupted by Kate's sudden reappearance. The amazing chemistry between real-life flames Vaughn

and Adams is a plus here, and their sex scenes generate some real heat. But they only emphasize how flat and enervated most of this one-twist melodrama is: By the time the filmmakers try to inject a note of complexity into the painfully straightforward story they've laid out, it's just too late.

Sure, virtuous Russ and his problems are relevant to this crazy, mixed-up world. But they don't exactly amount to a hill of beans.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Its heart is in the right place, but this sweet drama just doesn't build enough true drama from its slender premise. That said, it's not bad enough to merit the kind of stealth release its studio has imposed on it. Big-city trial lawyer Russ Durrell (Vince… (more)

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