Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating:
OBTUSE and over-plotted tale about a man falling in love with
a woman who is not what she seems.
Frank Barraclough (the normally reliable John Simm) is a Northern
librarian, whose world is turned around when Miranda (Christina
Ricci) walks into his place of work and immediately captures his
He is smitten by her beauty and her mystery.
After a good deal of agonising, he asks her out and a very peculiar
It turns out that Miranda, who claims that she is a dancer, is
far from what she seems.
In her other life, she is involved in some kind of con with Christian
(John Hurt), which involves the pair buying buildings that 'don't
exist' and selling them on to gullible punters, notably a man
named Nailor (Kyle McClachlan), who also seems to be involved
a sado-masochistic relationship with Miranda.
When Frank finds out about his true love's alter egos, he is
understandably shocked, but he is determined to win her heart,
even after she has told him in no uncertain terms where to go.
The problem with this film is that none of the characters really
ring true: Simm seems half-hearted in his portrayal of the Northern
hick: Ricci does not have the looks, or the presence, to pull
off the role of an irresistible femme fatale - she is irritating
rather than enigmatic - and MacChlachlan turns in an act of self-parody.
As for John Hurt, well this is another reminder that any film
with him in it is likely to be something of a turkey.
The humour, such as it is, is weak and clichéd and the
plot-line takes so many twists and turns that it disappears up
its own backside.
Don't waste your money on this film.