Revisiting One Night Stand
This week otsoNY revisits the 1997 drama, One Night Stand, which was directed by British director Mike Figgis and tells the very simply story where life meets death, success crosses with failure, conjugal life redounds in adultery and love triumphs over it all.
Wesley Snipes plays Max Carlyle who lives in Los Angeles and has a successful career directing television commercials and is happily married to Mimi played by Ming-Na Wen, with whom he has two children. While visiting New York City, Max meets Karen by chance after missing a flight; circumstances keep bringing them together over the course of the evening, and they end up spending the night together. When he returns home, Max seems distant and unhappy, though Mimi can't tell why and Max won't say. A year later, Max and Mimi fly to New York to visit his close friend Charlie played Robert Downey, Jr., who is near death from AIDS. Max meets Charlie's brother Vernon and is introduced to his new wife, Karen played by Nastassja Kinski. Facing Karen sends Max into an emotional tailspin, and he realizes that he must tell Mimi the truth about his indiscretion.
Joe Eszterhas was paid a record $4 million for his script, which was later rewritten by director Mike Figgis. In his memoir Hollywood Animal, Eszterhas stated that at first he could not understand why New Line, the company who produced the film, would risk alienating a screenwriter whom they had paid a record amount of money to, by allowing the director to rewrite the screenplay. He said that years later a New Line executive stated that Figgis was allowed to alter the script because the director had just scored a major success with his film Leaving Las Vegas, while Eszterhas' notorious Showgirls had flopped at the box office.
The critics were faily blunt in their critisms, whereas fans of Wesley Snipes and Robert Downey Jr offered sinsere praise for their performances. Supporting roles went to Nastassja Kinski and Ming-Na Wen, whos characters were married to each other’s affairs, and who were both convincing as adulterers. The chance meeting with Karen and Max happens in the lobby area of the Millennium Broadway Hotel on West 44th Street. Other locations included 20 Exchange Place in Manhattan’s finicial district. This disused bank was used as the hospital which cared for Charlie, whilst the closing scene of the film was shot at the corner of Mercer and Spring Street. The String Street gallery can be clearly seen in the background and was featured in the 1986 film, Nine ½ Weeks as the workplace for Kim Basinger.
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