Year of Release: 1999
Director: Doug Liman
Screenplay: John August
Starring: Sarah Polley, Desmond Askew, Taye Diggs, Katie Holmes, Scott Wolf, Jay Mohr, J. E. Freeman, Timothy Olyphant, William Fichtner
Running Time: 102 minutes
Genre: Crime, comedy, drama
This film consists of three interlinked stories set over a Christmas Eve night and Christmas morning. In Los Angeles, convenience store clerk Ronna (Polley) needs extra money to make her rent and attempts to double-cross the local drug dealer (Olyphant). Meanwhile, Ronna's fellow clerk, Simon (Askew), sets off for a wild weekend with his friends in Las Vegas, where he becomes embroiled in a series of misadventures involving a wedding party, a fire and an angry strip-club owner (Freeman). Also a couple of TV actors (Wolf and Mohr) are coerced into taking part in a sting operation by a sinister detective (Fichtner).
This film plays like a teen movie version of Pulp Fiction (1994) and, released by Columbia, it feels a lot like a major studio's attempt to emulate the hip indie movies that Miramax were specializing in at the time, and so isn't really as edgy and cool as it sometimes seems to think it is. However, having said that it is an entertaining film, funny, fast-moving and fairly light-hearted. The film is well-written and the individual stories are well-constructed, and each has it's own feel. It's well cast and full of familiar faces many of whom would go on to bigger things (look out for Melissa McCarthy in her feature film debut), Sarah Polley in particular is a stand-out. While it is very much a product of it's time, it has aged fairly well, and is always enjoyable.