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USA Films
Official Site
Director: Harald Zwart
Producers: Michael Douglas, Allison Lyon Segan
Written by: Stan Seidel
Cast: Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, Paul Reiser, Michael Douglas, John Goodman, Reba McEntire

Rating: out of 5

A bartender, a police detective, and a lawyer tell their stories of falling for the same enchanting woman in the romantic comedy ONE NIGHT AT McCOOL’S.

Randy (Dillon) is a bartender whose world turns upside down after a chance encounter one night in a dark alley. In the wee hours of the morning, after tending bar at McCool’s, he comes to the rescue of damsel in distress Jewel (Tyler). Randy is instantly overtaken by the buxom beauty and is more than happy to take her back to his place to comfort her in her time of need. It doesn’t take long for him to figure out that Jewel isn’t quite the gem of a woman he thought she was. She’s leading a life of crime, which links her to murder and theft. The doe-eyed Jewel justifies her actions by explaining that she commits these crimes in order to achieve her life-long dream—having a picture-perfect house.

Carl (Reiser), Randy’s lawyer cousin, is all too eager to stray from his humdrum marriage after laying eyes on Jewel. He, too, is immediately under her spell. The powers of this seemingly innocent temptress don’t stop here. Even Detective Dehling (Goodman) finds it hard to focus on investigating crimes because he’s too busy focusing on Jewel’s attractiveness. So we’ve got three guys from different walks of life who are doing things they never thought possible… all because of this woman in the alley one night at McCool’s.

I wasn’t overly impressed with this film, but it did have some surprisingly funny moments. Take, for example, the lovable and conservative Reiser involved in S&M. Perhaps it’s a tad ridiculous, but it can’t help but make you laugh. Of course, the comedic aspects will likely take a back seat to the scantily clad Tyler for many male viewers. The promise of a little eye candy never hurts at the box office. After all, how else could you explain anyone watching COYOTE UGLY?

While the actors might not have had much to work with, I must say that they did a lot with a little. Each actor’s contributions transformed what could have easily been a poor movie into an entertaining experience. ONE NIGHT AT McCOOL’S is far from the best romantic comedy I’ve ever seen, but it’s a good one to watch when you’re looking for something different that will make you laugh.

—K. Theis

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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