One Night Stand

For his follow-up to Leaving Las Vegas, writer/director Mike Figgis has ambitiously taken on an unconventional, multi-character examination of adultery. Wesley Snipes, a good actor who should stray from dumb action movies more often, plays a commercial director who, in New York on a business trip and to visit his HIV-positive best friend (Robert Downey Jr.), falls into a brief affair with a lower-lip-biting Natassja Kinski. This impacts, over the course of two years, Snipes' marriage to Ming-Na Wen and his relationship with Downey's family. With Figgis' thoughtful, detached technique and some excellent performances (notably those of Snipes and Downey), it's somewhat baffling that One Night Stand doesn't add up to all that much. A good number of individual sequences are well-executed, but the cheap, simple finalé—maybe it's left over from the original Joe Eszterhas script, although that would probably involve bloodletting—resolves things too neatly and betrays the superficial smartness of the rest of the film, turning it into a thinking person's Red Shoe Diaries. One Night Stand isn't bad, and it does raise compelling questions. It's a shame that it doesn't seem interested in answering them intelligently, or even exploring them deeply, once raised.

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