Joe Bob Briggs
I recently made up with my girlfriend, Cherry Dilday--for the 37th time--and we were on our way to catch One Night Stand at the triple-screen Astro Drive-In on Loop 12 in Dallas.
I was thinking how it was really weird that nobody has ever used the title One Night Stand before, since it's a great movie title, when Cherry started in on me again:
"Why do you have to see ever'body nekkid?"
"I don't have to see ever'body nekkid," I told her. "What are you talkin' about?"
"You're not satisfied until you see every girl nekkid. You can't just say, 'Hey, look, there's a pretty girl.' You immediately think, 'What's underneath there?'"
"What's underneath where?"
"What's underneath that T-shirt? What's underneath those ballerina tights? What's bulging out of those Wranglers?"
Lately Cherry has been going off like this.
"I don't wanna see Hillary Clinton nekkid." I thought I would instantly end the conversation with this brilliant stroke of logic, but she came back at me from an unexpected direction.
"Yes you would! If you could do it without anyone knowing, you would wanna see Hillary Clinton nekkid."
"Would not." I realized this was a feeble answer, and prob'ly didn't convince her at all, but it was all I could come up with.
My mind was racing as I tried to come up with someone I would never want to see nekkid. "Mother Teresa!"
"Old ladies don't count."
"You know why not!"
I liked Cherry a lot better before she became a junior lawyer about ever'thing. I tried philosophy. "There's nothing wrong with the nekkid female form. And there's nothing wrong with male appreciation of it."
"That's true, but you're a pervert."
"Do you wanna go to this movie or not?"
"And why," she screamed, "would we be going to a movie called One Night Stand in the first place?"
"Well, uh, Ally Sheedy, from The Breakfast Club, is in it..."
"And I always wondered what she would look like..."
I realized I was about to set off World War III, so just in the nick of time, I got an idea. I reached over and grabbed Cherry's T-shirt.
"What's under there? That's what I wanna know."
It worked. She giggled. I don't know why it worked, but it worked. Remember, guys, whenever this starts to happen, always bring the conversation around to her physical beauty. There's a brain lobe back there that shuts off the whole system. If she's thinking, "I'm a fox, I'm a fox, I'm a fox," she can't think about anything else. This is a universal principle of the female psyche.
It was a good thing, too, because the movie didn't exactly deliver the groceries. It's one of those sensitive-professional-woman-grieving-over-her-broken-marriage-and-her-dead-mother-who-gets-into-a-dangerous-affair-with-a-sexy-hunkola-Antonio Banderas-type-but-starts-to-think-he-might-be-a-serial-killer flicks.
Not exactly what'd you expect from the title One Night Stand, but then, on the plus side, you do get to see Ally Sheedy flash a little pale Brat Pack skin.
One thing I love about this flick is that Ally's boss at her ad agency is Don Novello, better known as Father Guido Sarducci, in a straight dramatic role! And it's all part of the directorial vision of Talia Shire, better known as Rocky's girlfriend! No wonder we've got a Vaseline Jamboree going on here, with all kinds of flashbacks, flashfronts, fast fades, slow fades, and my favorite of all artsy-fartsy flick effects, the close-up of a burning candle. We've got dream sequences, nightmare sequences, floating cameras, crane shots, dancing cameras--it's one of those flicks that make you so dizzy you can hardly follow the story.
Anyhow, the whole deal is that Ally goes off one night when she's feeling crappy and makes the Sign of the Quadruple-Gilled Enchilada with the brooding A. Martinez, who hasn't built up enough credits to have a complete first name.
When she wakes up in the guy's groovy condo, all the furniture is gone and he is, too.
She gets weirded out, turns detective, finds out the condo is owned by supergeek Frederic Forrest and before you know it we're into familiar erotic-thriller territory: murder, incest, creepy relatives, blah, blah, blah.
Oh yeah--Ally can be pretty darn nasty, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
Two dead bodies. Eight breasts. Multiple aardvarking with wine drenching.
Bloody shower dancing. (Don't ask.) Plastic-surgery stitch ripping.
One fistfight. Head through the shower door.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
* Ally Sheedy, for inspired aardvarking, for saying, "I want you to make love to me and I don't even want to know your name," and for telling her dead mother, "I met a stranger. I think I've known him all my life. I love him."
* Gina Hecht, as the sensible ad-agency co-worker who refers to "the awful, beautiful pain of obsession."
* A. Martinez, as the guy who picks Ally up and puts her down and pretty much runs her through the Olympic tryouts, for saying, "I was lonely--you could have been anybody" and, "Even in death she made me feel guilty."
* And Frederic Forrest, as the creepy stepfather who says, "He's a good man, and he's been punished enough!"
Two and a half stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.
Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's temple tickler comes from...Connie-Lynne Villani of Sierra Madre, Calif.:
"What movie is it that has a chase scene in an abandoned warehouse where one of the guys is chased by a killer with an air-powered nail gun and ends up getting parts of his limbs (I think just the hands) nailed to the walls of the warehouse?"
A video will be awarded to the correct answer. (The winner chooses from a list of about 1,000 titles.) In the event of a tie, a drawing will be held. Send "Find That Flick" questions and solutions to Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221. You can also fax them to (213) 462-5982 or e-mail them to Joe Bob on the Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org. (E-mail entries must include a postal mailing address.)
1996 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features)
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.