Mickey Rourke, Angie Everhart. Ten years after his girlfriend leaves him, a man is still obsessed with their hot affair. When he learns that she's living in Paris, he catches the next plane hoping to rekindle the flame. 1997/color/104 min/R/fullscreen.
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Played to surly, snarly imperfection, Mickey Rourke's character (John) in 9-1/2 Weeks helped raise the bar on how much to reveal in mainstream soft porn. Whether erotic tension was raised by his relationship with Elizabeth (Kim Basinger) is another matter, and may well reflect whether one is aroused by the idea of abusive sex with--well, someone like Mickey Rourke.
Regardless, Another 9-1/2 Weeks was released direct to video, so perhaps this tells us something about the confidence of loosing a sequel into an unsuspecting theater market. Of course, the central question raised by the sequel is: Whatever happened to John? After all, when Kim Basinger won an Oscar in L.A. Confidential, we lost any chance of seeing what happened to Elizabeth. Well, true to his burly macho sensitivity, John's been yearning for the glory days, when he could take a casual stroll from his Wall Street job and pick up someone like Elizabeth for three months of increasingly scumbag treatment. We can practically hear him thinking, "Where are those closet-sub, art gallery dealers when you really need them?"
Try Paris. That's the home of Lea (Angie Everhart), Elizabeth's best friend. Aha--will she be John's new obsession, or the catalyst for a deeper, more profound change in his character? See if you can tell from his thoughtful, yet fashionably brooding expression as he gazes toward the Seine at the end. --Stephan Magcosta
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