ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL'S Add To My Top 10
Release Date: April 27, 2001
Runtime: 92 minutes
Distributor: USA Films
Director: Harald Zwart
Executive Producer: Whitney Green
Producer: Michael Douglas & Allison Lyon Segan
Writer: Stan Seidel
Address Comments To:Scott Greenstein, Chairman
9333 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: (310) 385-4000
Fax: (310) 385-4408
In the story, Matt Dillon plays Randy, a hotshot bartender in St. Louis who sets up house with Jewel in the home Randy inherited from his mother. The materialistic Jewel gets Randy involved in a series of home burglaries after Jewel shoots and kills her old boyfriend, who tried to rob Randy’s bar. John Goodman plays the cop, Detective Dehling, who investigates the shooting and also falls in lust with Jewel. Finally, Paul Reiser of TV’s MAD ABOUT YOU plays Randy’s cousin, Carl, once or twice removed. Carl develops his own crush on the curvaceous Jewel, despite the fact that Carl is married with three children.
Detective Dehling, who bares his soul to his Roman Catholic priest, finds a way to kick Randy out of his own home. This leads Randy to hire a hitman, played by Michael Douglas, to murder Jewel. Meanwhile, Carl bares his kinky soul to a psychiatrist, played by country singer turned actress Reba McIntire. Somewhat unexpectedly, everything comes to a comical, but bloody, climax.
The basic outline to ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S had potential to turn into something interesting. Matt Dillon and Michael Douglas, who plays a different kind of character than usual, come off the best, but the character of Jewel, especially her motivations as described in the script, lacks development. The movie merely reveals that Jewel is incredibly materialistic and is looking for the perfect home. This doesn’t fully explain the way her attentions gravitate from Randy to the detective to Carl when things don’t go as she wants. One is left wondering why she just doesn’t leave and why she can’t just become the trophy wife of some rich millionaire. After all, the movie makes her out to be one of the most desirable women in St. Louis, if not the world.
ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S also includes lots of immoral or perverted sexual situations, some foul language and bloody, violent episodes. For instance, the movie doesn’t just make Carl, the married lothario, into a sex-crazed man, he’s also got to be a man who likes sadomasochism. Instead of surprising the audience with this fact in the movie’s big climax, it telegraphs it by showing a somewhat explicit, lengthy scene between Carl and Jewel midway through the story.
The final thing that makes this movie most abhorrent are the scenes where the detective confesses to his Catholic priest. During the confession, the priest gets bored and then sexually aroused. Also, the priest snacks on the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, while dipping it in the golden chalice that holds the wine, the Blood of Christ. Meanwhile, it becomes clear during the detective’s confession that the detective has been praying to God for his lust with Jewell to be satisfied. When this finally comes to pass, he thanks God for the opportunity. Not only that, but it also becomes clear that Jewel has used her sexuality to bribe the detective about her involvement in one of the two home burglaries which she and Randy commit.
These outrageous scenes not only are a vicious attack against Roman Catholics, both clergy and church members, but also a vicious attack on Jesus Christ and Christianity. Thus, ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S wears its anti-Christian bigotry on its sleeve. Just because the filmmakers attempt to milk these despicable things for humor rather than some political or religious agenda (like one of last year’s movies, THE CONTENDER), should not excuse them from responsibility.
In this movie, Jewel’s motivations are never really fully explained beyond her lust for material goods. One is left wondering why she just doesn’t become the trophy wife of some rich millionaire. ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S also includes immoral or perverted sexual situations, some foul language and bloody, violent episodes. Finally, the movie has some outrageous, ultimately vicious attacks against Roman Catholics, Jesus Christ and Christianity