8:05 PM, 17th March, 2000
Writer/director Willard Carroll has put together a stellar cast for his comedy drama about life, love, and L.A. The film follows the interconnected lives of eleven people who either have found love or are looking for love, or both. Although the number of characters makes it difficult to establish too much depth in any one, the performances are all top-notch, so we do attain a good understanding of them.
This film could easily have fallen into typical melodrama, however , the comedic turns and excellent script help it avoid that. While the dialogue is sometimes a little too articulate and witty to seem real, it suits the style of the film, and the actors all handle it extremely well, especially Dennis Quaid in his best role for a while.
The movie is stolen by Angelina Jolie, in the role that really got her noticed in Hollywood. Her performance as the punk-chic, club-crawling, wise-cracking Joan is the centrepiece of the ensemble, and her relationship with Keenan (Ryan Phillippe) is the story that we care about the most.
In the increasingly popular ensemble-film genre, Willard Carroll is not P.T. Anderson, but he certainly knows how to make an enjoyable film. Of course, with this particular ensemble, it would have been difficult to stray too far from that aim.
10:06 PM, 17th March, 2000
Max (Wesley Snipes) and Charlie (Robert Downey Jr.), once the best of friends, have drifted apart. However Charlie has been diagnosed HIV positive and Max travels to New York eager to patch things up with him. Following his meeting with his friend Max meets up with a beautiful stranger, Karen (Natassja Kinski), a result of her pointing out a conspicuous inkspot on his clothes. Not to spoil anything for anyone, but suffice it to say that Max and Karen don't get around to doing too much laundry, being too busy doing each other. He takes off back to his home in the West Coast, where his wife, Mimi (Ming-Na Wen), is waiting, unaware of her partner's shortcomings.
Anyway, it is now a year later and Charlie's illness has taken him considerably downhill since he and Max last met. Max travels back to New York with Mimi to see his dying friend and who should be there but (as if you were expecting anything else) Karen, who turns out to have more in common with Max than we at first may have thought. Hence the stage is set for what will be an inevitable confrontation of some sort between these characters. For Wesley fans, please note that One Night Stand is more of a human-interest drama than his typical action flicks. Max does very little chasing of drug-dealing terrorists with generic foreign accents, punching up hired goons, or saving cute little kids in this film. I must say, however, that a brief car chase, perhaps just through the hospital parking lot, or at least some guy named Carlos getting shot, even if for no apparent reason, might have been appreciated during the film's drier moments.