One Night At McCool's


Directed by: Harald Zwart
Written by:Stan Seidel
Starring: Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, Paul Reiser, John Goodman, Michael Douglas, Reba McEntire
Released: November 1, 2001
Grade: B-

It all started one night at McCool’s.  Randy (Dillon) was closing up his bar for the night and walked outside to find Jewel (Tyler) being abused by a man in the front seat of a car parked behind the club.  Coming to her rescue, he takes the shaken lady home and well, they end up sleeping together.

Jewel then breaks down and confesses that the whole car scene was a set up and Randy was about to be robbed by her “boyfriend”.  Now that she’d met Randy and seen what a nice guy he was, she couldn’t go through with it.  However, before the robbery can be aborted, the boyfriend shows up and in a sudden turn of events, is killed by Jewel with a bullet to the back of the head.

After some light convincing from Jewel, Randy decides he doesn’t want her going through anymore trauma and he himself claims responsibility for firing the gun in self defence.  Detective Dehling (Goodman) immediately picks holes in Randy’s story and decides further investigation will be required.

Over the coming weeks, Randy finds that Jewel isn’t the innocent victim she’s made out to be.  She immediately moves in with Randy, starts renovating the house and is the dominating member in their new relationship.  Every time he protests, Jewel piles on the sex to make Randy forget all his troubles.

To complicate matters, Randy’s lawyer uncle, Carl (Reiser), was also at the bar that night and he too fell head over heels for Jewel.  When word arrived that his cousin was seeing her, he started paying Randy a lot more visits just to be close to Jewel.  Let’s not forget Detective Dehling who has also flipped for Jewel and is looking for any reason to bust Randy to break up the relationship.

Despite poor jokes and unoriginal plot developments, the interacting stories of these three guys makes for light-hearted entertainment.  Michael Douglas plays a hitman hired by Randy to kill Jewel and is the pick of the bunch.  Douglas is also an executive producer and I think he’s played this small role to help boost the film’s profile.

One Night At McCool’s has a warped sense of humour and there’s an unnecessary overkill of sex and violence.  The sight of Paul Reiser in bondage has also left nasty images in my mind.  What was he thinking?  Still, I’ve seen a lot worse this year and so long has you can hold my attention for a while, it’ll escape with a passing grade.