BEST LAID PLANS
Release Date: September 10, 1999
Starring: Alessandro Nivola, Reese
Witherspoon & Josh Brolin
Runtime: 90 minutes
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Mike Barker
Producer: Alan Greenspan, Betsy Beers,
Chris Moore, & Sean Bailey
Writer: Ted Griffin
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Alessandro Nivola plays Nick, who has returned to his home town to care for his dying father. Having to drop out of college, Nick gets a job at a recycling plant. After his dad passes away, Nick is shocked to find out that he gets nothing from his dad's estate because of back taxes.
Feeling his life going nowhere, he suddenly gets a call from an old high school buddy named Bryce, played by Josh Brolin. While they have drinks in a bar, a sexy young woman named Lissa (Reese Witherspoon of PLEASANTVILLE) comes along and seduces Bryce.
In the early hours of the next morning, Nick awakens to a frantic phone call from Bryce, asking him to come over immediately. Nick goes to the posh home where Bryce is house-sitting to find Lissa gagged and bound to the pool table. Bryce claims that Lissa has falsely accused him of rape and threatened to go to the police. Bryce cannot believe he would do such a thing but admits he was too drunk to remember clearly what happened. Seeing his life crumbling before him, Bryce desperately asks Nick for help. At this point, the story flashes back and the drama unravels, with several twists and turns.
With some solid, if unspectacular, performances, BEST LAID PLANS keeps the audience's attention with some unpredictable twists. This is what makes the abrupt ending and the final revelation even more disappointing, however. They just don't measure up to the rest of the movie.
Worse than this, though, is the fact that the characters, especially Lissa, apparently learn nothing from their ordeal, as events spin out of control. Loose ends also aren't tied up, increasing the frustration over the ending. Finally, the movie is filled with so much strong foul language, including profanity, and immoral attitudes about sex that it becomes morally distasteful, though not perhaps completely evil.