Afterglow

Bomb Rating: 

If you want a movie with a resolution, this one is not it.

Afterglow

While I sure hope that when I'm fifty or sixty years old, women like Lara Flynn Boyle will be just dying to have sex with me, let's face it: These trans-generational screwing sequences ought to be a little more realistic. Nick Nolte looks like somebody has been using his head as a toilet brush, yet Lara Flynn lubes uncontrollably the second he dodders into her line of sight? Sure. Writer/director Alan Rudolph's film is a message movie. The message? Dysfunctional people shouldn't have children. Why it takes Rudolph two hours to explain this is beyond me. He could have just flashed it up during the title sequence and saved me a whole lot of time. Instead, he buries this revelation in such a strange tale of infidelity that any dysfunctional people in the audience are likely to miss it, leave the movie, procreate and totally blow Rudolph's high-falutin' concept of art as metaphor.

There are two messed-up couples in this film: Lucky (Nick Nolte) and Phyllis (Julie Christie), and Marianne (Lara Flynn Boyle) and Jeffrey (Jonny Lee Miller). Jeffrey is your basic self-obsessed prick who won't sleep with his wife. So, Marianne hires a fix-it guy, Lucky, and seduces him. This is convenient because Lucky and Phyllis have an "open relationship" because they no longer sleep together.

Since this is one those movies in which the main characters seem to be the sole population of the world, Jeffrey runs into Phyllis while Lucky and Marianne are banging away. Given that Phyllis is now apparently the last available woman on Earth, Jeffrey tries to bang her. All this banging leads -- as it so often does -- to trouble. Rudolph "ends" the film with everybody completely confused about why their lives are so totally screwed up. If you want a movie with a resolution, this one is not it.

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