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Three tales of urban indulgence are interwoven over the course of this film. Ronna (Sarah Polley) is an eighteen-year-old checkout girl who, together with her reluctant friend Claire (Katie Holmes), organises her first drug deal in order to make the money to pay her rent. Meanwhile, Simon (Desmond Askew) and Marcus (Taye Diggs), after a night out on the tiles, find themselves driving around Las Vegas in a stolen car, attempting to avoid a beating from some angry locals. During which time, respected TV cops Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr), blackmailed by a creepy detective, have become involved in a real-life undercover drugs sting - which brings us back to Ronna and Claire.
Director Doug Liman's follow-up to the winning Swingers is a rollicking adventure that, while lacking in any substantial plot, speeds along with non-stop adrenaline and style to burn. Taking a cue from Pulp Fiction, Liman plays tricks with time and overlapping plots, all of which play out in LA and Las Vegas in a 24-hour period, sometime between Christmas and New Year. Slacker grocery-store clerk Ronna (Sarah Polley) is trying to score rent money by selling hits of Ecstasy at a rave party, but winds up inadvertently double-crossing a ruthless dealer (sexy and scary Timothy Olyphant). She's also invading the dealing turf of her co-worker Simon (Desmond Askew), a Brit on his first trip to Vegas, which turns nightmarish after a jaunt with pal Marcus (Taye Diggs) to a "gentleman's club" turns violent. And then there's the two soap-opera actors (Jay Mohr and Scott Wolf) who cross paths with Ronna more than once in their attempts to divest themselves of a drug-related charge by participating in a sting.
The way Liman and writer John August layer these stories owes a huge debt to Quentin Tarantino, but the comedy and action sequences rocket like a bat out of hell with energy, humour, and genuine surprise. In addition to some hilarious dialogue exchanges--including a classic scene between Ronna's stoned friend (Nathan Bexton) and a telepathic cat--Liman works wonders with one the most winning ensembles in recent memory, a cast that includes both established actors and TV cuties. Mohr, Diggs, and especially Polley (doing a 180 degree turn from her role in The Sweet Hereafter) are as excellent as you'd expect, but it's Wolf (of Party of Five) and Dawson's Creek's Katie Holmes (as Polley's best bud) who turn in revelatory work; Holmes especially seems poised to be a breakout star. An amazing cinematic ride--like a roller coaster, you'll want to go back again and again. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Watching this film is a roller coaster ride, with the same weekend told from the viewpoint of various different characters in the film. Whether it is Ronna and her first attempt at drug dealing, the exploits of Simon (who makes a surprisingly good transition from the school yard of Grange Hill) and his friends in Las Vegas or the story behind Adam & Zack, and why they really went to Ronna in the first place.
All three storylines culminate into a believable ending and everything is brilliantly crafted together by director Doug Lyman (Swingers). Overall if you enjoy hip films featuring a young and vibrant cast then 'Go' see this film (credit to box for that pun).
The ONLY ten minutes worth watching in this stupid movie are a hilarious Christmas dinner involving characters played by William Fitchner, Jane Krakowski, Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr and a tiny but delightful bit with Melissa McCarthy. Both of those scenes are in the final "Adam & Zack" (Wolf and Mohr) segment, which would have made for a good end if only some of the morons from the insufferable "Simon" segment hadn't reappeared and dragged the movie back down into stupidity.
Maybe you need to be a Tarantino fan to appreciate this movie. The 17-year-old straight male goons who have taken over movie theatres probably loved it - especially the middle segment about morons just like them. Except for the scenes with Wolf and Mohr, which seemed like a different movie, I hated it.
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