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One Night At McCool's
cast: Liv Tyler, Paul Reisner, John Goodman, Matt Dillon, Michael Douglas

director: Harald Zwart

89 minutes (15) 2001
EV VHS retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Ellen Cheshire
The premise for One Night At McCool's is sound: one girl and three points of view provided by three extremely different men (Paul Reisner, John Goodman, Matt Dillon), who all believe that they are the only man who can make her life complete. But it's not quite as funny or as clever as it should have been, considering the talent involved.
   Dillon is Randy the 'hunky' bartender who - believing that he has saved the beautiful Jewel Valentine (Tyler) from her violent boyfriend (Andrew Dice Clay) - takes her home and, after a night of passion, followed by her boyfriend's violent death, he is head over heels in love. With Jewel having moved in, and him saving the bar from being robbed, he expected to live happily ever after. So why then is his narrative being told to sleazy hitman, Mr Burmeister (Douglas)?
   Goodman as Detective Dehling, who is investigating the murder, is a nice guy who believes that the lovely Jewel needs rescuing from her violent bartender boyfriend Randy. Despite his profession, age and size, he thinks all she needs is the love of a good man to whisk her off into the sunset. But then why has this led him to confess all to a slobbering and sex-obsessed priest (Richard Jenkins).
   Finally, there is Randy's uptight lawyer cousin Carl (Reiser) who, although married with children, is deeply disturbed and finds his afternoon of lustful S&M with Jewel to be the answer to all his emotional and psychological problems. But if she is the answer why is the story being told to his shrink (Reba McIntyre)?
   Tyler's central performance is a knockout where she has to portray Jewel as each man's fantasy as well as showing the audience her true character. The three men's different accounts of the same incidents offer some good belly laughs and there is some clever use of music where character themes are wittily incorporated into the score. Too often the filmmakers go for a cheap laugh and the film's denouement is just embarrassing, but there is enough good stuff to keep you entertained for an hour and half.