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February 18, 2000 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-18

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Jake and the ladies
*RC Players presents Neil Simon's
"Jake's Women" for two shows Friday
and Saturday night at 8 p.m.

RTS

michigandaily.com /arts

FRIDAY
FEBRUARY 18, 2000

5

Willis, Perry fail to go 'Whole Nine Yards'

By Erin Podolsky
Daily Arts Writer

"The Whole Nine Yards" should not,
by all accounts, be any good. Its hitman-
with-issues premise sounds like a raging
case of too little, too late. But as is often
the situation, comedy is all in the execu-
tion, and every place that a dull, paper-
thin puff piece like "Gun Shy" fails is a
place where "The Whole Nine Yards"
knows exactly what it's doing. Sure, it
ain't Proust -- it ain't even Puzo. But it
passes the time and gets a few laughs
besides.
The plot is one of those convoluted
"everybody is stabbing everyone else in
the back" constructions that leaves the
door wide open for comic misunder-
standing. There's Bruce Willis, the hit
man hiding out in Canada, doing his best
Frank Sinatra (although it could just be
his male pattern baldness, I'm not cer-
tain). There's Natasha Henstridge, all of
the species she's spawned off somewhere
colonizing some tourist trap, looking far
too serious for this light comedy, con-
vincing herself she's the second coming
of film noir princess Gene Tierney.
There's Rosanna Arquette doing -- wait,
what the hell is Rosanna Arquette doing
aside from the world's most butchered

um. I beg you.) Oz is married to
Arquette's miserable, accented wench in
one of those impossible-to-believe-but-
ripe-for-comedy unions. He wants out
but can't divorce her without being taken
to the cleaners. Lucky for him, Arquette
is busy trying to contract a killer to off
Oz so that she can collect his life insur-
ance
How convenient that a hit man Just
moved next door, eh" Thai ibout all
there s it the moe icNo h l C no

meani n And to h
ri'an,!
th,

:c

Courtesy of New Line Cinema
Giovani Ribisi stars as an up and coming stock broker in "Boiler Room."
New dud stashed
inl 'Boiler Room'

Courtesy of Morgan Creek Pictures
Bruce Willis sweet talks Matthew Perry in "The Whole Nine Yards."
Quebecois accent? Somebody stop her Tudeski, a congenial killer on the lam
before she eats this movie alive. There's from his ex-gang in Chicago after testi-
Michael Clarke Duncan being big and fying against his crime boss. He moves
beefy like a supersized Ving Rhames. in next door to dentist Nick Oseransky
And there's Matthew Perry doing ... (Perry), much to Oz's horror. (I'm going
Matthew Perry. Or is that Chandler to interrupt myself here to make a plea to
Bing? It's so hard to tell. the powers that be: For the love of Seth
Willis plays Jimmy "The Tulip" Green, put the name "Oz" on moratori-

is obvious frorn the ia O t hrS just
something so gosh darn appealing about
her Jula Roberts smile and her good-
naturedly starstruck guffaws when she
meets Jimmy.
Thankfully, nothing is as it seems, and
even though the plot twists call ahead'for
reserved seating so we know they're .on
their way, they're still sweetly funny.
Yeah, the jokes aren't that original and
the whole dentist thing has been done to
death. Yeah, everyone who deserves to
lives happily after. Yeah, it's terribly pat.
See YARDS, Page 8

By Leslie Boxer
For The Daily
As many college seniors know, the
fast-paced, high-stakes, big bucks
atmosphere of Wall Street is alluring.
Both investment banking and stock bro-

Boiler
Room
Grade: C+
At Quality 16
and Showcase
updated, younger,

kerage firms take
the best and
brightest college
graduates and
make them rich -
what's not appeal-
ing about that?
Writer/director
Ben Younger's
"Boiler Room"
identifies with
society's interest
in making money
and making it fast.
The movie has
been lauded as an
slicker version of

seems to be self-induced: Younger draws
from the success of both "Wall Street"
and "Glengarry Glen Ross" and includes
references to both throughout the movie.
It's as if Younger's characters grew up
watching these films and aspired to be
Charlie Sheens their whole lives. "Boiler
Room" even offers a scene in which the
characters have to take turns reciting
lines from "Wall Street."
Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi), one of
these "Wall Street" admirers, is a college
dropout who opens the film with a
voice-over telling the audience about his
lust for monev and fancy toys.
Immediately the audience is connected
to the film; we all desire many of the
same things that Seth does and it is easy
to identify with his big dreams of mil-
lions and one of the movie's themes -
greed.
Seth's father (Ron Rifkin) is a disap-
proving federal judge, who upon hearing
that Seth was running a 24/7, seemingly
lucrative, casino out of his Queens apart-
See BOILER, Page 8

"Wall Street" and in many respects that
is true. Of course, much of the praise

I

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