Four Rooms

Everybody says it’s crap, but that’s not quite the case. Oh, the first two rooms are indeed pure crap, but the second half of the film, while not as good as the directors’ separate films, makes for a funny enough comedy anyway. Basically, it’s about a very weird night in the life of Ted the Bellboy. He’s working in a big time hotel on New year’s Eve and each story/room puts him in a weird situation. Ted is delightfully played by Tim Roth. His character is like Mr Bean with an edge, a manic cartoon with a foul mouth. Of course, each part must be reviewed on its own…

“The Missing Ingredient” 19

Directed by Allison Anders, this story puts Ted in a suite where a bunch of witches are conducting a weird ritual. They need sperm to resurrect their bondage goddess, and they feel that Ted’s the man of the situation. This segment is shockingly lifeless and humorless, even though it’s about sexy witches. Lily Taylor is vaguely amusing, Valeria Golino has presence and it’s nice to see Ione Skye again (topless, too!), but Madonna proves once again that she can’t act, at all. The cheesy visual tricks don’t help, and there’s no payoff whatsoever.

“The Wrong Man” 12

This time, Ted is caught between a jealous husband with a gun (David Proval) and his provocative wife (Jennifer Beals) tied down to a chair. This is the worst of all the rooms. Alexander Rockwell’s direction is half-assed, with more WACKY! Visuals, bad acting, unfunny schtick and an utter absence of purposed or interest – and no topless Ione either.

“The Misbehavers” 65

This part is definitively the best one. Ted has to baby-sit the children of a Latino macho stud and his alcoholic wife. The thing is, those kids are trouble-makers, and let’s just say that all hell breaks loose. This segment was written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. It’s hilarious, fast-paced and totally entertaining. Tim Roth is at his best, Antonio Banderas is extremely cool as the father and we get to see Salma Hayek dancing in a leopard bikini! This is like a Looney Tunes cartoon brought to life. Don’t miss this one.

“The Man from Hollywood” 45

Quentin Tarantino gives us the last segment, which he wrote, directed and stars in as an obnoxious Hollywood star who’s partying in his suite with his drunken friends (including an uncredited – and wasted – Bruce Willis). Ted is called to help them to put together a replay of an old Alfred Hitchcock TV episode in which a man bets he can light a Zippo lighter ten times in a row. If he wins, he gets Tarantino’s car. If he loses, his pinky finger gets chopped off. This is pure Tarantino: cool visual style, dialogue about little things, pop culture references… The problem is… Well, Tarantino is not a great actor. He’s kinda funny, but the lines he writes are funnier when they’re said by someone like Sam Jackson. Still, this room is entertaining enough, but it’s not in the same ballpark as Tarantino’s real films.