One Night at McCool's Movie Review

There are three things that are laugh-worthy in the Farrelly Brothers wannabe, One Night at McCool's: a greasy pompadour-ed Michael Douglas mimicking a blowjob by flapping one of cheeks/jowls with his index finger and thumb, Andrew "Dice" Clay (yes, this is for real), and Paul Reiser meeting a nasty end. And one of these bits is already given away in the TV ads. Thankfully, it's the one that I personally find the most redeeming moment of this generally unlikable movie.

While There's Something About Mary was clever and funny, it has unfortunately spawned some extremely bad imitators that take increasingly lower roads to getting laughs. McCool's definitely has slid the taste meter down a few notches, and it doesn't even pay off. Even for those of us who get a kick out of dumb and vulgar gags, this latest poseur has nothing else to prop it up. The plot is never once fun or engrossing. The characters are repellant, and not even in an entertaining or over-the-top way. And the comedy relies way too heavily on us chuckling at an Oscar winner dressed in a ridiculous pimp-like get-up and regularly using the "P" word, or Reiser scampering around in nothing but S&M bondage gear and leather chaps.

The weak story is told from three different perspectives, and centers on one apparently irresistible woman named Jewel (Liv Tyler). The three guys are hapless loser Randy (Matt Dillon), his slimeball attorney cousin Carl (Reiser), and a lonely Catholic-guilt-ridden cop (John Goodman). All the men who come in contact with Jewel either fall in love with her or end up dead. Most fall in love with her before ending up dead. So, we spend the movie wondering what Jewel's motivations are, and where they'll lead her and these morons next.

The bottom line seems to be that all men are pigs, and one smart woman who knows how to appeal to and take advantage of their perversities can get whatever she wants. That truth aside, there's really no need for cheesy rock video montages of fantasies that aren't even sexy. But when you hire a director known entirely for "award-winning commercials" and "several music videos," you're bound to end up with soft-lensed recreations of those Aerosmith videos Liv did for dad a few years ago. Unfortunately instead of Catholic schoolgirl uniforms, you'll get Ms. Tyler in a series of completely unflattering virgin/whore outfits -- depending on whose fantasy we're seeing -- all of which make her look like a chubby Amazon. And speaking of unflattering, why did the filmmakers have to show poor Liv using the toilet?

The one pleasant surprise in McCool's is definitely the return of Andrew "Dice" Clay -- billed under his real name, Andrew Silverstein -- who manages to be genuinely amusing in two roles: a mulleted murderer and his deranged brother (who's dressed to look a lot like Douglas in Falling Down -- scary). And, Douglas isn't so bad either in an uncharacteristically goofball supporting role. But, it's no wonder he's letting it all hang out; McCool's is the first film to come out of Douglas' new production company.

But these few gems aren't really worth a trip to the theater. One night at McCool's is definitely one night too many.

The McCool's DVD provides plenty of insight into the nuances you might have missed in the film... oh, wait a sec, what are we saying. What you get are deleted scenes (lame, including the "sad" ending, which isn't much different than the "happy" ending), a making-of video (lame, spends the first full minute following Zwart around, photographing his ass), and some other less-lame items (Tyler's hair and make-up tests are at least curious). What more is there to say except this is one must-own disc for anyone who is trying to collect the entire works of Paul Reiser.

He's one collar over the legal limit.


Comments

One Night at McCool's Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 2001

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