Never underestimate the power of karma. Don Johnston never will. Don has just broken up with his girlfriend, who urges him to get his life together and grow up. One day he receives an anonymous letter revealing to him that his son, who he’s never met, is looking for him. Jim Jarmusch’s tale of a lady killer who gets a jolt of reality facing his own mortality, is a clever and pretty interesting slice of life about a man whose life seems basically comfortable until he gets the announcement.
The stand out performance in the variety of talented actors is Jeffery Wright who plays Don’s next door neighbor who thinks he has a real future as a detective. He’s the highlight of this, and is consistently hilarious as a wannabe sleuth who states the obvious in an attempt to solve Don’s mystery. Jarmusch’s study of a bachelor who can’t resist the lure of basically any female then becomes a road trip film as he ventures into these different locales attempting to discover who it was that sent him the letter. The story is filled with many funny scenarios, the funniest of which include his visiting of an old girlfriend played by Sharon Stone whose less than discreet daughter makes her presence felt. Alex Dziena as Lolita will remain on the minds of male audiences for a long time.
Don even finds himself in a sort of Nabokovian scenario as he’s—reasonably—attracted to Lolita and finds himself also allured by Stone’s character. Each woman he meets up with has their own personality and that’s due to the evident talent of Jessica Lange, Francis Connor, Chloe Sevigny and many others, respectively. Murray’s performance is perhaps the more memorable aspect of the film as his downplayed portrayal of a Casanova is unexpected. He doesn’t truly look like one who would be so irresistible to women, and that’s why Murray’s performance is so good. The talented cast make this an entertaining and interesting peek at a man who has no idea where to go with his life after a revelation that, hoax or not, becomes a wake up call. Murray’s performance is a highlight in a very entertaining dramedy.