A New York journalist lies when his fake story about a pimp describes a real pimp up for murder.A New York journalist lies when his fake story about a pimp describes a real pimp up for murder.A New York journalist lies when his fake story about a pimp describes a real pimp up for murder.
Freeman is smarter than anyone else in the movie too. The main figure in a celebrated journalistic effort, he and his girl are invited to the publisher's party where everyone showers them with attention while they chat about "the Hamptons." Afterward, Punchy exults over the attention but Freeman sees through it all. He knows condescension when he sees it, and he is filled with resentment. Trying to put something over on Freeman is like trying to slip sunrise past a rooster.
But Kathy Baker as the used Punchy deserves credit as well, although her part isn't nearly as showy and dramatic as Freeman's. She's just beyond the bloom of youth, rather used looking and heavily made up, and her figure, while ripely pleasant wouldn't draw stares in a supermarket. She's very appealing indeed in her vulnerability and aloneness.
Chris Reeve is usually ignored in reviews. I don't know why. He's rarely anything but bland, but this is by far his best performance, and he invests his character with ambition, confusion, fear, and compassion -- not an easy role. The scene in the hotel bedroom with Kathy Baker, in which she seduces him knowing that behind that facade of journalistic objectivity lies a man who would just love to get it on with her, whether or not he realizes it. She demonstrates how she made it with her first john and makes Reeve play the partner. The silly made-up dialog fades and is replaced by "Natural Woman" on the sound track. The two have a relaxed, enjoyable-looking, mutually appreciative little love scene.
It's a pretty good movie and involves us emotionally in several different ways. Alas, as I say, the end is almost an embarrassment. The bumbling Reeve character turns into a genius, and other characters into the fools they never were. Don't let that stop you from watching this.
- Aug 29, 2002