Picks and Pans Review: One Night Stand
As leading actors go, Snipes is one of the best—handsome, virile, comfortable before the camera regardless of the role. And Kinski, who enjoyed a brief run as an international sex symbol in the '80s, turns out to have become even more attractive with a few years added on. She has acquired a little polish, as well as an air of mystery—no more than a light perfume but mystery nonetheless. All of which means that when they embark on a fling in One Night Stand, they make a very sensual couple.
The stand in question commences when Snipes, an L.A. commercial director on a brief visit to New York City, makes eye contact across a cafe with Kinski. Her career isn't apparent. Dressed in black and rapidly speaking French to a group of men in good business attire, she could be in negotiations to be the new Lancôme spokes-model. The rings of their orbits draw nearer and nearer: After an ink stain spoils his shirt, she allows him to use her apartment to change. When he misses his flight out, he buys tickets for a concert, knowing she'll be there. They try to look pensive listening to a Beethoven string quartet but fidget with anticipation. The first third of the movie, in short, is a long, luxurious tease.
After the stand, unfortunately, comes the fall. Having entertained us with the dance of the seven veils, director Mike Figgis, whose last movie was the overrated Leaving Las Vegas, parts the final curtain and reveals...an earnest, arty, not very original movie about a midlife crisis. Back with his shallow wife, who drives a Land Rover the color of raspberry sherbet, Snipes realizes that, after the excitement with Kinski, his life is stale and empty. Grappling with despair, he shoots a bleakly pretty Armani ad. Then he returns to New York, where his old friend, a gay choreographer (Robert Downey Jr.), is dying of AIDS. Downey gives an anguished, masochistic performance, but the character exists largely as a plot device to help Snipes resolve his crisis. If it's chic-but-depressed you want, see The Ice Storm. (R)