After doing a whole trilogy of teen horror without subjecting to the gratuitous T&A that usually goes with the genre, after being the only performer not to bare all in Wild Things (in which even Kevin showed his Bacon), Neve Campbell suddenly goes all Ludivine on us, exposing every inch of her ballerina body.
Neve Campbell plays a rich daddy’s girl who is in a relationship with a lowly hustler (Frederick Weller) that doesn’t stop her from picking up cute guys on the street. She’s uninhibited sexually, but that doesn’t mean she likes to be taken advantage of. So when her asshole boyfriend sets her up with a billionaire Italian Count (Dominic Chianese) smitten with her, Indecent Proposal-style, she goes with it but with an agenda of her own…
“When Will I Be Loved” is quite similar to writer-director James Toback’s “Black & White” from a couple of years ago, casually interracial, casually sexual, with a lot of meet-and-greet scenes around New York streets that feel improvised, hip hop on the soundtrack and another amusing Mike Tyson cameo. The plot kicks in only about halfway through, in a long scene between Campbell’s character and the Count that’s intriguing and playful, well written and well acted. Chianese, especially, is great as the Count, oozing sophistication and dirty old man sleaziness in equal measures. I love the Count. There should be a Count in every movie, or at least a Duke. “If I can’t count on the Count, who can I count on, right?”
It’s unfortunate the rendez-vous with the Count and its repercussions come late into the movie. All that extra time we could have spent with the Count is wasted in early scenes of pseudo-artsy softcore porn, like a lesbian tryst against a window and a foursome in the park that are neither particularly relevant to what comes later or all that sexy. And if what you’re most concerned about is how much nude Neve we see, the answer is not that much outside of the lingering shower scenes that bookend the film.
There are many enjoyable bits sparkled through “When Will I Be Loved” and the third act really works, but it’s just a little too uneven and Campbell lacks self-assurance and edginess to make a truly memorable femme fatale.