Pros: Well, Heather Graham is pretty, especially naked.
Cons: The plot was so... ABC movie of the week
Killing me Softly was a mystery/ thriller movie. The mystery for me was how two good actors, Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes could have decided this was a good film to do.
If not for the number of sex scenes with Heather Graham naked, Killing Me Softly would be a boring film that might be on something like the Lifetime Channel or ABC movie of the week.
First we meet Alice (Heather Graham - Boogie Nights) a young web designer who lives with her stable boyfriend in London. Shortly after the credits roll and Alice is established, she caught the eye of Adam Tallis (Joseph Fiennes), a mountaineer, who is doing a book signing. Next thing you know, Fiennes has Heather Graham's lace blue bra pushed down exposing her breasts, and shortly thereafter Heather is completely naked on the floor with Joseph Fiennes naked on top of her and then Heather is on top of Ralph. I felt like I was watching Showtime late at night. The next day Alice learns the name of her new lover. Alice leaves her staid boyfriend and has lots of sex with Adam before we actually get into the plot of Killing Me Softly.
Apparently someone decided to let the actors know that, without a plot, they've basically just had Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes star in a soft core porn. Alice meets Adam's sister, Deborah (Natascha McElhone), who is also a mountain climber. Alice learns that on one of their mountain climbs a woman close to Adam died in a fall. Alice gets a mysterious note making her wonder about Adam.
However, to make sure the viewers don't get bogged down in a boring plot, Adam takes his new wife on a honeymoon of hiking and erotic asphyxiation. Alice gets tied up naked with long ribbons around her neck. However, a six hour hike and being choked by her new husband only makes Alice love him all the more.... until another mysterious note arrives.
The remainder of the film is Heather Graham, blue eyes wide open and distressed as Alice trying to investigate her husband's past and trying to determine if he may have deliberately killed a past lover high in the mountains. Is she herself in danger? To make it worse, Heather Graham's character provides a voice over narration for the film that just adds to the cheese factor rather than make the film mysterious.
Acting Although Heather Graham certainly looks good naked, her acting abilities aren't exceptional. I suspect that is why she is not featured in more films. Joseph Fiennes was actually quite good as the mysterious stranger with past secrets. I was a bit envious of his role in the film. Overall though, most of the actors seemed incidental.
Direction - The movie was directed by Kaige Chen, a Chinese director. He seems to know what Westerners like, pretty blonde girls with blue eyes and great bodies having lots of sex.
Soundtrack - The music throughtout this film is an insipid string soundtrack that ebbs and flows with the supposed suspense of the plot. It adds to the whole Lifetime channel feel of the film. As the film gets more tense towards the end, they break out the cellos and the standing basses to really create artificial tension.
As a movie, frankly, Killing Me Softly is not very good. However, the steamy sex scenes partially made up from sitting through this insipid plot. Nevertheless, it is one of those bad movies that is fun to watch. I did give it only two stars, but recommend it because it is a bad movie that is entertaining for all the wrong reasons.