Live by Night
The key question behind Live by Night isn’t so much “Why did they bother?” as “What went wrong?”
“Love and Human Remains" fashions a strange alliance out of sexual politics, serial murder and the dating game. All of its characters are seriously immature and narcissistic - obsessed with their own images and orgasms - but that's the strength of the movie. Its weakness is the way it uses soap opera to veer away from its real concerns. The result is kind of a mess, but an intriguing one; it's not a very good movie, but you don't stop watching it.
The story, based on Brad Fraser's play "Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love" takes place in a Canadian city where a serial killer is stalking young women. The killer is one of the characters in the story, and if you can't figure out which one, you're not paying attention to the earrings. The story would play better, I think, without the killings or the killer; I was more interested in the relationships, as characters experiment with their sexuality, than with a plot device dragged in from David Lynch movies.
The central character is David (Thomas Gibson), a former TV actor who is now working as a waiter, and who has cultivated a sardonic, cynical pose of perpetual amusement. He lives with Candy (Ruth Marshall), who was his lover until he decided he was gay.
(Coming home at night, he opens the door and shouts, "Honey! I'm homo!") His best friend is Benita (Mia Kirshner), a prostitute specializing in a curious form of S&M (her speciality is tying people up and telling them Urban Legends like the one about the "dog" under the bed). She's psychic, by the way, which is probably a great help when trying to anticipate the needs of her clients.