Daniel Craig stars as as a hedonistic Hollywood star who returns to his roots when his career hits a crisis. Joe Scott (Craig) is living the movie-star dream, with a house in the Hollywood hills and girls on tap, he indulges his every whim. But when his childhood best friend Boots (Max Deacon) dies suddenly, he returns to England for the funeral, to be confronted by his past and the regret of a lost love. Joe's teenage years with his first love Ruth (Claire Forlani) were tainted by an affair with his mother's best friend, leading him to leave for good. Now thirty years later, he returns to confront his guilt, and finally make amends to his former love.
Leading man Daniel Craig apparently made Flashbacks of a Fool (he was also one of the executive producers) in between stints as James Bond, and you can see why he was attracted to it; Joe Scott, the character he portrays in this film, could hardly be less like the suave, ever-resourceful 007. Ensconced in a fab, oceanfront Malibu crib, Joe is a movie star on the skids. Hooked on coke and drink, engaging in group gropes with dumb Hollywood bimbos, he’s sunk so low that his sassy assistant (Eve) calls him "a disgrace to white folks," and even his agent is sick of him, which is somewhat akin to a parasite dissing its host (it’s a measure of writer-director Baillie Walsh’s script’s lack of depth that we never really see what made Joe so great in the first place, or so bad now). When a call comes that a childhood friend has died, Joe decides to return to his native England for the funeral, whereupon an extended flashback kicks in. Young Joe (Harry Eden), it seems, was as randy and hopelessly naïve as a lot of teenage boys. Though he had the hots for the sexiest young thang in town (a coastal village that’s as lovely in its way as the California setting, both of them handsomely photographed by cinematographer John Mathieson; the locations, in fact, are probably the most attractive element of the film), he also wasn’t immune to the advances of Evelyn (Jodhi May), the older married woman who lives next door. And when a tragedy involving Evelyn’s daughter struck while she and Joe were in flagrante, Joe handled it by leaving town, never to return--until now, that is. --Sam Graham
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