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One Night Stand Reviews

Who would have thought Talia Shire, mousy heroine of ROCKY (1976), had a steamy, erotic thriller up her sleeve? Completed in 1994 but released (barely) in 1996, ONE NIGHT STAND typifies the sort of late-night thriller fare that has proliferated on pay-TV cable: a hollow affair. Michelle "Micky" Sanderson (Ally Sheedy) is a pretty but lonely young divorcee and designer for a small Los Angeles ad agency. At a baby shower Micky meets a handsome stranger (A Martinez) and goes back to his pad. They make love all night, but Micky wakes to find him gone. Later in the day, Micky returns to the man's apartment, where she finds the actual owner, Michael Joslyn (Frederic Forrest), an odd character who says he knows nothing about her mystery lover. Later Micky's one-night stand calls her for a date. He says his name is Jack Gillman, he owns a building firm, and his first wife, Ellen, died in an accident. Micky becomes increasingly suspicious about that late wife after witnessing Jack's violent, jealous nature. She visits Joslyn and his wife (Diane Salinger) and learns Jack is their son-in-law. Mrs. Joslyn insists Jack murdered Ellen while Michael counters that an intruder killed their daughter. When Micky eventually confronts Jack with her misgivings, Jack now claims to have just discovered Michael Joslyn himself slew Ellen when, following an abortion, she threatened to reveal their incestuous relationship. Exposed, Michael tries to kill Jack and Micky, but Jack subdues his father-in-law. Mystery solved, Micky resumes her romance with Jack. Shire made her debut here as director (and took over the reins after the death of her husband, producer Jack Schwartzman). Initially she shows particular insight in the woman's point of view, mixing feminism and formal dynamics in scenes of Micky resisting her boss' sexual overtures on the job, followed by an idyllic night of passion. For a while ONE NIGHT STAND appears promising in the manner of Shire's 1979 gender-reversal vehicle OLD BOYFRIENDS. But Marty Casella's screenplay devolves quickly and predictably into a cheap retread of sexist lady-in-distress thrillers like 1941's SUSPICION and 1944's GASLIGHT (and 1995's NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS, which also featured a Latino lothario who may or may not be terrorizing his lover, though the race issue is never addressed in either film). The normally-fine Frederic Forrest goes over the top and throws the film off balance. It hardly matters, however; despite the interesting early scenes, ONE NIGHT STAND isn't much to throw. (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)