This is another movie that I contemplated turning off; this time, it was that I was pinned under a cat and couldn't move. It's not as good as [i]Go[/i], but it's still entertaining, and while I wouldn't call any of the performances here great, it's entertaining. It takes a while to build up--longer, I think, than a really good movie does--and it feels, at times, like two different movies sort of shoehorned together, but I did have a good time while watching it, even if I am still a little unclear on how it ended. I got the gist of it, I think, but if there was some moral that we were supposed to learn, that, I missed.
Frank (John Simm) works in a library that is about to be demolished. One day, in walks the lovely Miranda (Christina Ricci). He falls for her, and she seems to fall for him as well. There are things about her that she's not telling him, but that doesn't matter to two people in love. Except that what she's hiding from him is that she's posing as a dominatrix to con the wealthy Nailor (MacLachlan) into a bogus real estate deal planned with Christian (John Hurt). It's all very sordid. Of course, Frank's in love, as I said, so he has to go after her to make everything turn out all right. It doesn't help that Nailor has a hired thug who, it is implied, will do something very unpleasant if Frank stands between Nailor and Miranda.
Very seldom in modern noir-like films does the [i]femme fatale[/i] go through as much effort to separate the two aspects of herself as Miranda. Oh, she only uses one name, but she has contacts and hair dye and fake eyelashes to go with the new wardrobe. The only problem is Frank, really. If she'd managed to break things off with him sooner, or never start them in the first place, her plan would have gone without a hitch. Because, you see, Frank [i]was[/i] the hitch. He'd met both Mirandas, and that strained things for her. It wasn't in her plans. But then, the going against her plans is what makes this a comedy, and not a mystery/suspense or a drama.
It's a strong cast for such a weak movie. I mean, Ricci, MacLachlan, and Hurt have all shown that they have strong acting chops. We've seen them here and elsewhere doing good work. Admittedly, the last thing we've seen Hurt do is traipse around the jungle like a madman, and MacLachlan has been voicing an animated Superman. (I note that he was [i]not[/i] in the [i]Sex & the City[/i] movie, and I can only be grateful. I don't care enough to wonder why not.) As for Ricci, she's probably had the spottiest career, but she must always deal with those of us who remember her fondly as Wednesday Addams. But hey, she was [i]good[/i] as Wednesday Addams, and don't let anyone tell you different. Especially for the eleven-year-old she was at the time. Mostly, children are able to act like children. Christina Ricci acted like an Addams child.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when the movie showed up on my Netflix queue. Frankly, I don't remember putting it on there in the first place. It appeared, as movies occasionally do in my life, and I watched and enjoyed it. I didn't enjoy it a lot, but I enjoyed it enough to give it a positive review. If this is what comes of random Netflixing, perhaps I ought to do it more often. I can only assume that it came up in one of those "if you liked such-and-such, you'll like this as well" thingies, though what I must have liked is beyond me.