Killing Me Softly
"Would this film had made it to American movie theaters had someone like Julia Roberts or Nicole Kidman played the Heather Graham role?"
- Alvin George
Killing Me Softly (2001)
Director: Chen Kaige
Cast: Heather Graham, Joseph Fiennes, Natascha McElhone
Writer: Kara Lindstrom (based on book by Nicci French)
Producer: Lynda Myles, Joe Medjuck, Michael Chinich
Running Time: 102 min.
Plot: An American businesswoman living in London weds a mysterious British mountain climber.
ALVIN GEORGE'S REVIEW: In March 2003, only about four years after being Mike Myers' leading lady in the blockbuster smash "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," Heather Graham went straight to video in the USA in this UK-Stateside coproduction directed by Chinese director Chen Kaige of "Farewell, My Concubine" fame. The other big "loser" in this movie is Joseph Fiennes, a respectable British actor who appeared opposite Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow in 1998's "Shakespeare in Love." In the past, direct-to-video movies have been stereotypically associated with B-grade exploitation flicks starring such people as Eric Roberts, Tanya Roberts, Dolph Lundgren, Michael Dudikoff, Don "The Dragon" Wilson, and Cynthia Rothrock. In the last decade, however, it seems like many relative A-listers have found themselves going the direct-to-DVD route, and not just action heroes like Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Wesley Snipes, and Sylvester Stallone. I'm talking about Hollywood stars who have often had an air of respectability around them; people like Morgan Freeman, Val Kilmer, Kevin Spacey, Meg Ryan, Dennis Quaid, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ben Affleck, and [certain actress Alvin is too scared to mention]. The movies these stars often go direct to video in are (apparently) ambitious indie flicks that somehow fail to find distributors willing to release them to theaters, not something conceived to go straight to the video bin right from the beginning. Obviously the studios want to release big-screen movies that are readily marketable. Unfortunately, a direct-to-DVD release too often seems to send a message that a certain movie is to be regarded as trash alongside the average piece of softcore porn.
ALVIN GEORGE'S RATING: 6/10