One Night At McCool's (2001), Cert 15.

Director - Haral Zwart.

Writer - Stan Seidel.

Starring - Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, Paul Reiser, John Goodman & Michael Douglas.


Premise - After another hard night at McCool's, bartender Randy (Matt Dillon) runs into Jewel (Liv Tyler). After a deadly series of events Randy takes Jewel home. Jewel and Randy become something of an item, but Randy's cousin Carl (Paul Reiser) is driven crazy by Randy's incredibly sexy girl as is the investigating officer, Detective Dehling (John Goodman).

Primarily a cautionary tale about letting your groin control your brain, 'One Night At McCool's' is about one of the funniest and cleverest films I have seen in a long time. Combining farce, slapstick and a witty script to produce one hell of a movie.

Unlike other films I have seen recently 'One Night At McCool's' is constantly funny throughout, it also rarely lets up the pace. McCool's sports the kind of dark comedy that I love and also has a nice storytelling maguffin.

The films story is told from a different point of view by each of the leading men. Dillon, Goodman and Reiser's events of what happens that fateful night in McCool's might all be concerning the same space of time, but each of there testimonies vary so wildly that it's hard to be sure. It's their infatuation with the intoxicating Jewel that makes their tales skew so wildly from each other.

Goodman, Reiser & Dillon are on top comedy form. It's amusing to see a bunch of rational guys turn to putty in the hands of a stunning looking woman. Reiser in particular reminds us of his comedic talents that have been hidden away on television for too long. Goodman is as good as ever and shows that when he is given quality material he is as good as anyone when it comes to comedy. Dillon plays the lead very nicely, he's quite an endearing character, but not completely without his own agenda. A nice bit of duality gives the character some depth.

Douglas is very funny as well, his hitman is old trailer park trash and very well played. It's not your usual Douglas role and it's nice to see a veteran actor who isn't afraid to try something a bit different.

Liv Tyler though is stunning, I have never thought much of her as an actress before, but she is mesmerising here. When the men see her for the first time, everything else is blocked out and she is in soft focus with an angelic glow around her. Kind of like when a woman was in shot in the original series of Star Trek.

Norwegian director Harald Zwart has crafted an excellent looking movie as well. Touches such as the 'glow' detailed above are littered throughout the movie. He shows a good eye for action scenes and he seems to have a knack for the darkly comic. Stan Seidel's script is sharp, witty and at times touching. I look forward to seeing more work from these two obviously talented individuals.

Filled with quality moments and neat little pop culture references that make you sit there with a goofy smile on your face (YMCA anyone?). McCool's is the kind of clever little black comedy that is being made too little these days. An unmissable little movie that has slipped into my 2001 top ten with little or no effort.


8/10 for One Night At McCool's.

Poster Quote - "It's fun to stay at the....................." ;)