10 November 2001 | petershelleyau
pure trash and delicious fun
Isabella Rossellini stars as a fashion model (surprise!) in therapy with psychiatrist Jonathon - Aidan Quinn, however therapy is abandoned because Aidan is much too attracted to Isabella to continue. So they move in together instead. Then one night Isabella sees Aidan flirting with a woman at an art galley and she immediately slaps his face. It turns out this Aidan is James, Jonathon's twin, and a psycho-therapist. (Get it?) Isabella becomes interested in the livelier James since he is not a workaholic, though we never see him with a patient, and because James believes he appreciates her better than Jonathon does. James' expression of appreciation appears to be insulting her and rough sex. Quinn slows down his speech to give Jonathon a Montgomery Clift mushiness, and is all smirks as the sleazier James, however they are both still dull. Luckily director Tim Hunter shifts the focus to Isabella's reactions, which is also wise since the two times we see the twins side by side we get poorly done split screen, and an obvious body double. The screenplay explores Isabella as an aging model. She is interested in retiring and becoming an agent, in spite of the protests from everyone, except of course James. I lost count the number of times Rossellini is told she is beautiful. Of course she is, but it almost plays as a vanity production. You can tell that Hunter is aiming for camp from the constant music, and the fact that he casts Iman as Isabella's confidant, named Elle (!). Iman appears in one outrageous costume after another, but does have some funny lines. We also get The Picture of Dorian Gray's Hurd Hatfield as Isabella's agent, who actually gives the best performance in the film. Isabella is unintentionally funny since she delivers all her lines with the same intonation. There is also an irony in her involvement with "mirror-image" twins, and her resemblance to her mother. As a thriller this production fails miserably since Rossellini isn't the actress her mother was to make us believe she is in peril, though presumably Hunter would have cast someone better if he wanted a make a real thriller. I like her line when she refuses to let Jonathon buy her a dress. She says she is afraid he will make her "look like a school teacher" but the clothes she wears are faux-peasant understatement, with lots of low necks to show off her collarbone.