Watching the Detectives (2007) • USA

The basic premise: Neil (Cillian Murphy) owns a small independent video store and lives passively in a world of make believe movies. Violet (Lucy Liu) lives a life of adventure. She would rather do than watch. She stages real life scenarios of situations Neil can hardly imagine. Most of her escapades are well thought out (My favorite being the picnic scene) and leave both the viewer and Neil wondering just what's going on and how things will turn out.

I wish we'd gotten more background story on Violet, maybe a little input on why she puts the moves on this particular guy, but it's thoughts like that ... film criticism ... that will spoil the fun.

Don't go in expecting too much unless you are a Lucy Liu fan. It's not a mature or edgy film. There's not much to it except a delightful 90 minutes spent adoring Violet. Nothing wrong with that.

Lucy Liu gets to wear all these cute outfits, many are low cut but not unduly provocative. The wardrobe department should get some props here. She looks great. She gets to act all femme fatale (though this film is inappropriately labeled 'noir') as she pulls prank after prank in an effort to deal with her "rare, exotic disease."

We get the quirky Liu here, not the tough one. She looks like a college student most of the time, except for the close-ups. Her body language and delivery are free spirited and charming in a predictable but nicely done way. From standing pigeon-toed to sniffing her armpit for odor, she's as cute as a button. I don't imagine the film makers were shooting for anything beyond that.


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