, , , , , , , ,


here's to letting random strangers into your hotel room in the middle of the night!


Steve Zahn, Jennifer Aniston, Fred Ward, Woody Harrelson

Mike: I don’t have enough money.
Sue: What!?
Mike: I only had enough for a one way.  And I thought…I thought, I’m just gonna go for it!
Sue: With me?
Mike: Yes…it was a far flung notion.
Sue: It was a f***ing stupid notion!
Mike: I guess…

Mike (Zahn) is a lonely guy who lives and works at the hotel that his parents own.  He takes a liking to a guest, Sue (Aniston), and manages to befriend her.  The two share a rather intimate moment before Sue leaves town, which Mike takes as a sign that he should fly across the country to see her.  Sue has mixed feelings about all this, and eventually sends Mike away, but that’s not the last time their paths will cross.

Ya know, it would be easy to just say that Mike’s pursuit of Sue is creepy and possibly stalker-ish, but if you can get past that (like Sue does), it’s actually a pretty sweet story.  A story about a man that needs to grow up and be responsible and a woman that needs to realize that it’s okay to let yourself be happy.

Zahn manages to be weird in a non-creepy way instead of a Norman Bates way, which allows us to believe that Aniston’s character could actually find him charming.  Of course, she’s a bit odd and lonely herself, so maybe the attention alone is attractive to her.  Either way, I actually kind of bought their romance.

I didn’t buy Woody Harrleson’s character as much, though he’s not extremely over the top, just a little bit over the top.  Enough that his eccentricities made it hard to believe that Sue would have dated him in the first place, much less go back to him again later.  But I guess that points towards her character’s tendency to not do what’s best for herself.

There’s nothing particularly special about this movie, but there’s nothing particularly bad about it either, other than maybe some of the ridiculous plot conveniences that crop up.  But it is a movie after all.  A nice movie, with some good performances, and a sweet romance.  It also helps repair some of the damage that Psycho did to the reputation of small hotels/motels with talkative, boyish men working at the front desk.  Sure, the situation could end with you getting stabbed in the shower, but other times it could work out pretty well actually.

If you are going to stalk somebody, make sure they are desperate enough for attention that they don’t see your stalking as a problem.

10 – 2 for some silly plot conveniences – .7 because it drags here and there – .3 for Harrelson’s performance that annoyed me a little = 7.0