In snowy Pittsburgh, Professor Tripp (Michael Douglas) is having an affair with the wife of the Chancellor in the University he works at. He’s also got writers-block as he struggles in writing his latest novel. Meanwhile he is looking after a student who was forced to shoot the Chancellor’s dog. Directed by Curtis Hanson and with a screenplay from Steve Kloves, the plot and dialogue are smart and the film is enthusiastic about it.
Accompanying various unconventional characters are performances that do well all around. Robert Downey Jr. is there as Tripp’s editor who seeks opportunities with writers, and relationships with all genders. The plot occurrences are worth considering as the film keeps us wondering about the outcome of its characters. Tobey Maguire is gloomy and awkward as the student who shot the chancellors dog (to save Tripp from being attacked), Katie Holmes is another student who is passionate, intelligent, and fond of wearing red boots. And Douglas as Tripp is an intellectual suffering from relationship issues while trying to write a novel. Douglas is great in these type of flawed characters.