An erotic story about a woman, the assistant of an art gallery, who gets involved in an impersonal affair with a man…
Release Year: 1986
Rating: 5.5/10 (16,166 voted)
Critic's Score: 50/100
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger, Margaret Whitton
An erotic story about a woman, the assistant of an art gallery, who gets involved in an impersonal affair with a man. She barely knows about his life, only about the sex games they play, so the relationship begins to get complicated.
Writers: Sarah Kernochan, Zalman King
William De Acutis
(as William DeAcutis)
Sinclair – the Critic
Lee Lai Sing
Angry Chinese Customer
They Broke Every Rule
Release Date: 21 February 1986
Filming Locations: Chelsea Hotel – 222 West 23rd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $328,804
(23 February 1986)
Did You Know?
Director Adrian Lyne used emotionally manipulative tactics on Kim Basinger during the shooting to elicit the performance he wanted from the somewhat new actress, which Basinger later criticized harshly. For example, Lyne did not allow Mickey Rourke and Basinger to talk to each other off-set. The two were kept isolated from each other and Lyne would tell Basinger rumors about how Rourke intended to make her like or dislike him so that she would carry that attitude into the scene. Lyne would also offer Rourke performance notes, but Basinger none, in order to unnerve her. In a very unusual and expensive move along these lines, Lyne shot the film sequentially, so that Basinger's actual emotional breakdown over time would be effectively translated to the screen.
When Elizabeth reluctantly leaves her chair to get on the floor, John's curved lounge chair is inexplicably rocking back and forth in the background (John is on the other side of the room).
Every time I see you, you're buying a chicken.
Every time I see you, you're smiling at me.
Curious but entertaining
I find it interesting that people can get so many different feelings and
experiences from one movie, but then; this is exactly the type of movie
would cause such disparity. The question really is, are you watching the
movie for entertainment, or to critique it? There are wondrous scenes of
erotic intimacy here (unfortunately not as fully developed as they could
– and glimpses into just what two people "in lust" will allow themselves to
be led into… The sensuousness of the relationship is the key – not the
believability of the surroundings or the rest of the 'plot'. Is it
believable? It certainly is conceivable… Liz (Kim Basinger) studying
slides at work, so distracted by her thoughts of intimacy with a man she
hardly knows that she can't keep her hands off herself… John so taken
her that he will spend exorbitantly for a gift – to give a woman he doesn't
know – but feels that he must meet. The passion and need for these two
lonely people that lets them open doors to their inner selves and allow
another in BEFORE thinking of the consequences (there are ALWAYS
consequences, in film and life; for opening "those" doors). Is it
that they would win the fight with the street thugs? No. Is it believable
that the adrenaline rush, the release of the flight impulse and fear, the
closeness found in 'defeating a common enemy'; could possibly lead to the
intensity of sexual closeness and climax in a semi-secluded spot (under
falling water at that)? Yes. Are the other scenes believable? It's
entertainment, not a psychology class… They are conceivable, certainly.
Ever been really mad at your partner, and that anger leads to words then
breaking dishes then apologies then hugging then closeness then sex? How
about anger leading directly to sex? It can happen, and it does. It is not
so much a rape as it is a purging of desire. The scene with Liz
and the whore coming in to the room – you share the tenseness Liz feels.
Will she be stimulated? Of course. Will she let John know it turns her on?
He already knows it does. He wants HER to know that he knows it will.
This movie is a glimpse of what manipulators people are. The efforts made
manipulate another person into 'making them want what you
So much so, that it becomes their desire, not yours. So much so that the
desire is to see if you can manipulate the other becomes more consuming
the original goal. Seeing if she WILL crawl across the floor becomes more
important than seeing her actually doing so. And her feeling the depth of
her self in what she will do – and finding she is doing it because SHE
to, not because he wants it. Liz takes her pleasure from John, too. What
appears to be a "rape in progress" as John pushes Liz back on the table,
ends with her crying because she was excited enough by it to climax. That
perhaps the 'real' rape; her discovery that even if she is initially
violated, in her mind she realizes it arouses her enough to let it
and as it continues she finds herself clutching at her 'attacker'; and
attaining orgasm. The rape as much of her mind as it is her body. It is her
discovery of what she learns of herself. When she finally leaves the
relationship, he finds he can't live without her. Who manipulated who?
This movie, dated as it is, is still fresh because it is enough like life
be real. No, we may not be that rich or that attractive or that selfish or
that spoiled. But we also may wish at times that we were…