HALF MOON STREET is an intended romantic thriller based on Theroux's novella Dr. Slaughter. Bogged down in cinematic sludge, the film focuses on Weaver, a scholar at London's Middle East Institute. Weaver has difficulty making ends meet financially until she decides to supplement her paltry income by becoming a hooker--not the sleazy kind, but an independent-minded one who picks and chooses her customers. She bed hops with some of the brightest and the best, eventually arriving at the door of Caine, a renowned diplomat whom she has admired over the years. In the meantime she has become a frequent guest in diplomatic circles. At one of these gatherings she meets Sawalha, a rich sheik who showers her with love and gifts. For all her brains, however, she fails to realize she is being set up in an international scheme. Director Swaim lost himself in an excess of plodding plot points and intrigue. Caine turns in his usual accomplished performance, but Weaver shows her incompetent side here. In fairness to Weaver, she had to contend with a script that goes to great pains to make everyone thoroughly detestable.