In the 1930s, penniless Arturo Bandini (Farrell) lodges in LA and tries to become an author, worrying that he’s too inexperienced to have anything to write about. He has a complex relationship with Camilla (Hayek), a Mexican waitress, which eventually inspires him to finish a novel.
There’s a startling supporting turn from Idina Menzel (remember this name) as a character so unusual the film comes to life when she barges in and finds it hard to keep it together after she’s gone. In contrast, Colin Farrell and Salma Hayek (who both look much too healthy and gym-toned) play characters who are frustratingly hard to care about. Their affair dawdles in squabbles for an hour, before finally coming into focus in intimate scenes which come too late to be really affecting.
A curiously resistable drama, despite several strong elements — the most notable being newcomer Idina Menzel.
Reviewed by Kim Newman