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Sleeping with Strangers (1994)

Daniel is in danger of losing his inn after another more modern establishment opens next door and steals his guests. He goes to the bank for a loan, but they tell him to hope for a miracle.... See full summary »


William T. Bolson




Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrienne Shelly ... Jenny
Kim Huffman ... Teri
Alastair Duncan ... Daniel (as Neil Duncan)
Shawn Thompson ... Mark
Scott McNeil ... Todd Warren
Gary Jones ... Loan Officer
Anthony Ulc ... Sam
Claire Caplan Claire Caplan ... Elsie
Betty Linde ... Margaret
Jeffrey Cohen Jeffrey Cohen ... Artie
Gabrielle Rose ... Claire
Susan Wilkey Susan Wilkey ... Loan Officer's Wife
Tamsin Jones Tamsin Jones ... Loan Officer's Daughter
Sarah Deakins ... Bank Teller
Tim Battle Tim Battle ... Security Guard


Daniel is in danger of losing his inn after another more modern establishment opens next door and steals his guests. He goes to the bank for a loan, but they tell him to hope for a miracle. Then a limo pulls up carrying the hottest rock star and biggest movie actress around. The two inns compete for these prestigious guests, Daniel trying to save his inn, the other man (Mark) trying to drive Daniel out of business for good (and steal his fiancee). Written by eily

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User Reviews

Very funny satirical comedy about the delusions of fame
19 November 2017 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This is a wickedly funny portrayal of two self-obsessed celebrities coming into confrontation with 'the little people', as one of them calls them, meaning ordinary people of everyday life. The film was well directed by a mysterious person called William T. Bolson, who never made any other film, and of whom nothing seems to be known, so that I suspect this may have been a pseudonym for someone else, perhaps Adrienne Shelly herself (she did not surface by name as a feature film director until 1996 with SUDDEN MANHATTAN, see my review). Adrienne plays the female lead, a famous movie star named Jenny Dole, and she is thoroughly and mischievously convincing as this psychologically disturbed narcissistic celebrity who likes to sleep only with strangers while dead drunk. She thus genuinely cannot remember with whom she had sex the night before, and that is the way she likes things. The sensation of the film is the hilarious portrayal of a male rock star named Todd Warren by the Australian actor, singer, and comedian Scott McNeil. His screen credit says 'and introducing', although he had appeared in a great deal of television Down Under for years before this. His performance is beyond outrageous, but despite this it was impossible for him really to go 'over the top', since his character could not be portrayed in any other way. McNeil did his own singing and was not dubbed, so his talents are truly remarkable. He succeeded in pulling off a mammoth task of caricature convincingly, and must have had much fun in doing so. I don't know how the cast and crew managed to control themselves from collapsing into helpless laughter the whole time while making this extreme satire. Perhaps they did. I wish I had been there. And by 'there' I mean a tiny coastal town on the southwest of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, named Sooke (population 13,000). The film was made entirely on location there, although it is never identified in the story. Sooke is just over the border and separated by a body of water from Seattle, just west of Victoria. Only one of the lead actors in the film was Canadian, the actress Kymberley Huffman (now just called Kim). She is very lively and attractive, with her sparkly blue eyes and open manner, but she plays a devious, selfish, treacherous girl who is engaged to one man whose business she is simultaneously trying to destroy while sleeping with his enemy next door whom she really intends to marry. She hops back and forth between beds through the back stairway of her fiancee's small hotel into her lover's small competitor hotel, which is deemed superior because it has 'a cappuccino machine and jacuzzis'. One day, a stretch limousine drives up and from it emerge Scott McNeill and Adrienne Shelly, exhausted from a mammoth sex session in the back of the car. They are both drunk, and McNeil is evidently permanently stoned on drugs as well, so that he is rarely more than half conscious except when he is singing. Various events ensue which result in their staying first in one of the hotels and then the other. Huffmann's fiancé Daniel is the only honest and honourable main character in the story, so of course he is being systematically betrayed as he struggles with debt and a failing hotel business. The hotel's lights keep getting cut off because he cannot pay the electricity bill, but while he is worrying about survival his fiancée is always slipping next door to have romps in bed with the nasty rival. It becomes important for both hotel owners to try to hang onto their celebrity guests in order to boost their business, with all the associated publicity. So the scheming and to-ing and fro-ing of the guests between hotels is highly comical. Despite the temptation to do so, Adrienne Shelly never over-acts, since one of her great talents was to look at people with just the right expressions at the right times to render superfluous dialogue or any histrionics unnecessary. Daniel is played by the Scottish actor then called Neil Duncan, but who now calls himself Alastair Duncan. He does very well as an honest man caught up in a variety of hopeless dilemmas, and who tries to be decent while all those around him are behaving abominably. This film has a deeper purpose, in that we see the effect that real people begin to have on the celebrity phonies, by slowly humanising them. The haunting sense of despair and self-loathing of the film star Jenny, and the hedonistic oblivion continually sought by the rock star Todd are exposed in all their sleaze and emptiness. Some of the 'real' people are seduced by their glamour, while others are disgusted by it. Where will all of this lead, as the interactions between them intensify? This is a serious film masquerading as a wild and very hilarious satire.

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Release Date:

9 July 2000 (Germany) See more »

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Sleeping with Strangers See more »

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