Time: 159 mins.
There are so many problems with this film I don't know where to begin. The sad thing is, I really enjoyed the first hour. It's just the whole second half of the film that truly sucked. I went into this film with somewhat high expectations even though I'm not a huge fan of either Stanley Kubrick or Tom Cruise. I do love Nicole Kidman, so I was hoping she would balance it out for me. Unfortunately, she's in it less than one would think, certainly not enough screen time to justify being on set for a year and that's part of the problem. EYES WIDE SHUT has been billed as this psychosexual drama about a married couple delving into their deepest fantasies and the trauma that follows. The concept may be interesting, the finished project not so much. I've lived a fairly straightlaced life and I was totally bored by Cruise's sexual misadventures. His evening was more weird than shocking and in fact nothing we haven't seen done better many times before. This film's sexual content may have been racy when the book was written in the 1920's or even 20 years ago when Kubrick optioned it, but after all we've seen in the 90s this reads like a sexy 50s movie.
The film opens with Cruise and Kidman as Dr. William and Alice Harford going to the Christmas party hosted by a wealthy patient of Bill's. They each end up flirting with strangers, Alice with an older Hungarian gentleman, Bill with two beautiful models. Bill's potential liaison is cut short by a medical emergency upstairs. A "special guest" of his host Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack), is having a serious reaction to the drugs she shot up and Bill is called in to make sure she doesn't OD. Alice stops her flirtation of her own volition. When they get home they make love, which turns out to be disappointing since the footage is the same as the racy trailer released several months ago. Nothing new. Except you actually get to see Kidman naked. Cruise fans prepare to be disappointed. You never get to see anything remotely provocative when it comes to Cruise. He has a wholesome image to protect.