"Intriguing premise undone by slow pacing and pointless subplot"
I got the feeling that the director was trying to do too many things at once and wound up with a muddled mess of a movie with great potential.There are several things that director, Sydney Pollack was trying to convey in this film. Unfortunately, he stretched the whole movie so thin that he ultimately wound up conveying nothing.
Harrison Ford is an internal affairs officer and Kristen Scott Thomas is a congresswoman running for re-election. Their lives intersect when a plane crash kills both of their spouses who are on a flight they were never supposed to be on in the first place. It appears that they had been doing the nasty and our leads are caught between feelings of grief over losing their respective loved ones and feelings of anger and betrayal over the revelation that they were both being cheated on.
Despite a leisurely pace the movie still manages to stay compelling as Ford tries to piece together what went wrong in his seemingly perfect marriage and Thomas struggles in vain to deny(mostly to herself)that it ever happened. If the movie would have focused on these central issues and hadn't tried to show how these internal struggles seeped into Thomas and Ford's careers then it could have been an excellent film.
The subplot involving Ford trying to nail a dirty cop was completely unnecessary and completely derailed the film everytime it could get any momentum going. It also kept the film going for 30 minutes too long.
I did enjoy the subplot in which Kirsten Scott Thomas tried to decide whether to bury her husband's affair, and keep her campaign afloat, or risk it in order to gain some insight into her husband's behavior. I have never seen another film with her in it but I will definitely keep an eye on this actress. She exudes a subtle sensuality and has the rare ability to act as effectively with gestures as she does with words. Even though I did not enjoy this movie as a whole I am glad I got to see her performance. Simply put... She got skills.
With the presence of Pollack as actor and the fact that both movies shared the infidelity theme, I almost got the sense that this movie could be a companion piece to "Eyes Wide Shut". But at least EWS knew where the fuck it was going and didn't try to do too much at once. Both movies also share similar pacing and music.
Just as the lead characters felt cheated, I too felt cheated by a movie bursting with potential but ultimately unrewarding. I only wish that through the course of the movie the audience could have been given the same sense of closure that the leads were trying achieve.
I thought long and hard over whether this flick should get 2 or 3 stars(I would give it a 2 1/2 if possible). But since I fucking hate overlong movies and felt dissapointed by the overall experience... I opted for 2. I would add a star if you find the subject matter particulary compelling. There are some good moments that take an honest look at the aftermath of both infidelity and the loss of a loved one. Too bad these moments are too often lost in the clutter.I left the movie feeling hollow and unfulfilled. Hell, mabye that was the point. Frankly, I could care less.