I don't remember seeing this movie in the theatres, but it stared me down countless times in the video store. Liv Tyler on the cover looking so good, how could I resist? And she's a redhead in this movie! I broke down and bought a used DVD from Video Quest for $12.
Plot points will be discussed in the body of this review so if you want to be surprised by the movie, I wouldn't recommend reading it.
I really didn't know what to expect from this movie, except that the critics said it was funny, or at least that was what was printed on the DVD case. It started out in a very promising way: Three completely seperate views of the same set of events, which eventually converge in an onslaught of hilarity. Some of the better movies are set up this way...Many are done with flashbacks, but not usually from three different points of view. Unlike films like Pulp Fiction, One Night at McCool's is more or less chronological in its storytelling.
I know this is going to sound like a bad joke, but a laywer (Paul Reiser), a highway patrol officer (John Goodman), and a bartender (Matt Dillon) are all in a bar (McCool's) where they all happen to lay eyes on a ravishing redhead (Liv Tyler) and are immediately infatuated with her. Each of the three thinks that she's the one for them. Reiser ends up talking to a psychiatrist about his lust for this mysterious woman; Goodman to a priest who can't seem to get enough of the "gory details" so to speak.
The three sets of flashbacks come together with quite a bit of humour (like Reiser in a leather bondage-type suit) and much more grace and fluidity than I thought they would. I found it to be a pretty funny movie, all in all. Multiple shots of Liv Tyler's assets didn't exactly hurt my opinion of it either. I'd definitely recommend it as a renter, if not a purchase. I haven't yet, but I'd bet I could watch this movie at least a few more times for Liv Tyler alone, and with flashbacks, there's always a cause to watch more than once to catch things you missed the first time through.
One Night at McCool's rates 3 spines out of 5.