This is a brutal tale of a middle-aged alcoholic man named Ben Sanderson (Cage). He moves from Hollywood to Las Vegas after he has failed to keep his family or his job in the movie industry as a direct result of his drinking. He plans to drink his way into oblivion with the remaining money he has on him from his severance pay. Setting himself up at a decrepit motel, he stocks up on booze to quickly finish the job. As his need for companionship has him prowling the Vegas Strip looking for a hooker, he is drawn to a pretty, compassionate prostitute named Sera (Shue). They fall in love with one another, “warts and all.” When the two move in together she helps clean up Ben and gets him motivated to temporarily lead a semi-normal existence. Sera must face risks of her own as a streetwalker, as she has a pimp named Yuri (Sands) who abuses and mistreats her.
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Ben is spiraling further into acute alcohol toxicity and each day becomes harder for him to manage; he shakes, vomits, and becomes confused when trying to perform simple tasks. Eventually, Sera's patience with him runs dry and she boots him out the door. Yuri was cruel in his treatment of Sera but at least he provided her with protection from outside harm. After he is killed she takes on a “trick” that goes horribly wrong. A group of school-aged boys violently rape and sadistically sodomize her in a Vegas hotel room.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Fletcher
Fired from a film production job, hard-core alcoholic Ben Sanderson (Cage) goes to Las Vegas to drink himself to death within four weeks. Soon after arriving, he meets a gorgeous streetwalker named Sera (Shue) who often gets beaten by clients and pimps. Ben moves in with her, and they make a pact not to interfere with each other's chosen destiny, carrying on a twisted but tender romance during Ben's final weeks of life. Mike Figgis wrote and directed the screenplay for this dark 1995 tale based on an autobiographical novel by John O'Brien, who committed suicide two weeks after filming began. The story's hard to take, in more ways than one, but Cage and Shue are impressive. Trivia buffs may enjoy looking for Mariska Hargitay, later star of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," as a hooker at a bar; Julian Lennon as bartender three at biker bar; "Five Easy Pieces" director Bob Rafelson as a man at mall; Xander Berkeley of "24" as a cynical cabbie; and singer Lou Rawls as a concerned cabbie, among others.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus