year: 1987
cast: Steve Guttenberg
rating: **1/2

A man, Steve Guttenberg (not too bad in a serious role), and his boss's wife, Isabelle Huppert, have sex in his apartment. Later in the night, Huppert, looking outside the BEDROOM WINDOW, witnesses a man beating a woman (Elizebeth McGovern): basically trying to kill her. Huppert screams and the man runs off; McGovern is aided by some neighbors and lives. Here's the rope: If Huppert goes to the police as a witness, her husband will find out she was at Guttenberg's pad. So we cut to the next day: the newspapers report another woman who was killed - and Guttenberg and Huppert realize it was the man who got away... and decide that Guttenberg should be the witness (even though he was in the bathroom at the time). Things flow neatly for a while as Guttenberg (with Huppert in the shadows) continues the ruse. But eventually the police realize (through a nifty courtroom scene involving Wallace Shawn as a defense attorney) that Guttenberg has lied... and, still trying to cover for Huppert - even though the cops think he might have committed the crime - with the aid of Elizabeth McGovern tries clearing his name, i.e. he MUST catch the killer before he's locked up. This is where the film, straying from its original and surprisingly clever premise, turns into a wrongfully-accused run-of-the-mill actioneer. A scene involving Guttenberg and Huppert talking in an aquarium is an obvious NOD to Orson Welle's THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (perhaps director Curtis Hansen's way of distracting us from the main influence: Alfred Hitchcock). In fact the whole piece has a film noir flavor, but the flavor only lasts while the initial plot runs its course, after which we're left scrambling desperately for an end.

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