Heaven Or Vegas

  • 1999
  • 1 HR 31 MIN
  • R
  • Drama

Theough technically slick, this gritty romance is replete with meretricious philosophizing, emptily artsy direction, and a storyline so preposterous even Ed Wood might have vetoed directing it. Vegas gigolo Navy (Richard Grieco) is is weary of servicing wealthy matrons. Slow-witted exotic dancer and hooker Mary Jo, whose real name is Rachel Hodges (Yasmine...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Theough technically slick, this gritty romance is replete with meretricious philosophizing, emptily artsy direction, and a storyline so preposterous even Ed Wood might have vetoed directing it. Vegas gigolo Navy (Richard Grieco) is is weary of servicing wealthy matrons. Slow-witted exotic dancer and hooker Mary Jo, whose real name is Rachel Hodges (Yasmine Bleeth), enjoys reading fairy tales aloud. Navy rescues gullible Rachel from her pimp and when she learns her rescuer is bound for Montana, Rachel convinces him to make an unscheduled stopover at her home town, Logan, Utah. Although Rachel's Mormon father, Mr. Hodges (Andy Romano), welcomes the return of his prodigal daughter, he's remarried in her absence and now and has two stepdaughters. Pre-teen Paige (Sarah Schaub) loves the child-like Rachel, while beauty contestant Lilli (Monica Potter) sets her sights on Navy, making Rachel jealous. She responds by having a reckless fling with a "tenter," a seasonal gypsy passing through town, not realizing he and his friends are actually sociopaths who kill hitchhikers and runaways for quick cash. Imagine Tennessee Williams's THE FUGITIVE KIND (1959) re-imagined as a Aaron Spelling serial, and you'll have some idea of the preposterousness of this laughably serious melodrama. Writer-director Gregory C. Haynes' script is cliched and devoid of well-written characters, so he relies on panoramic scenery and mood music to carry the mood, But what really sinks the film is the ghastly performances he elicits from his stars. Greico Peeks out from his bedroom eyes like a second-string Michael Parks and Bleeth, when she remembers to stay in character at all, confuses girlishness with simple-mindedness.

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