Shawn Holloway is having a bad day. Actually, she’s having a miserable life: Her father was never there for her, she hates her job, and she’s just found out that her boyfriend’s wife is pregnant. So what’s a depressed and self-absorbed twentysomething to do? Down half a bottle of vodka and race to the top of a skyscraper to commit suicide. However, Shawn (Selma Blair) is not the only one who’s having problems. When the police arrive at the scene to talk her down, they stumble upon an armored-car robbery in progress on the street below. One crook escapes with the cash, another is wounded, and the third, Charlie (Max Beesley), is forced to retreat to the roof, where he finds Shawn teetering on the edge.
Now Charlie has a ready hostage, but what does the hopeless Shawn care if he puts a bullet in her head? Maybe the fact that Charlie looks a lot like Mark Wahlberg leads her to succumb to his request: “Help me now and I’ll kill you later.” In Dana Lustig’s second feature, it’s never hard to tell what’s going to happen next. Yup, as the two spend the day on the run, they start to warm up to one another, and they learn they’re not so different after all. Max’s wife left him for another man, taking their daughter with her; Shawn can begin to understand her own father, and to realize that, hell, life’s tough for everyone. But will these two ever find the love they are looking for? And will the rookie-vs.-veteran detective team (O’Neal Compton and Lochlyn Munroe) on their trail learn to work together and crack the case?
Her every gesture exaggerated, Blair acts as if she’s performing in a silent film, but unfortunately, the film itself isn’t silent—the jam-packed alterna-rock soundtrack further emphasizes the obvious (at one point, Shawn broods and chain-smokes while listening to lyrics about “having a bad day”). And to make matters worse, the entire movie is shot like a prolonged we-tried-to-make-this-look-like-we-had-a-bigger-budget MTV video, with quick cuts and the cheesiest of effects (Robocop night vision, Bionic Woman slo-mo running). By the end of it, you’ll wish you had just stayed home and watched Total Request Live.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 18, 2001