Published Feb 01, 2001Typically a film containing a wide array of eccentric characters with quirky idiosyncrasies elicits one of two responses - humour or annoyance. "The Million Dollar Hotel" prefers the latter. A story about the overwhelming burden of unconditional love was co-written by U2's Bono, inspired by the rooftop location of the band's "Where The Streets Have No Name" music video. It is no surprise that he appears throughout the soundtrack and even has a quick cameo.
The title refers to the residence of several outlandish misfits, the only place where they can find themselves accepted among peers. Jeremy Davies ("Saving Private Ryan") stars as Tom Tom, a childlike simpleton with an obsession for Eloise (renaissance woman Milla Jovovich). The catalyst to their relationship is the investigation of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the demise of ex-tenant Izzy, briefly played by Tim Roth. Mel Gibson is detective Skinner, the FBI agent who is handling the case with questionable procedures, even so far as using the lovesick couple's affections to get results.
Wim Wenders presents Los Angeles with a bleak and dismal atmosphere, giving it a beautiful aesthetic outside the glamour typically associated with the city. No matter how good this film looks it cannot deter from the slow pace, irritating performances from half the cast and a mystery that seems to downplay its own importance. Although it must be said that it does a fair job of exploring the concepts of friendship and betrayal, it certainly is not for everyone. This movie is for those who enjoy being the designated driver at a keg party, spending an excruciating amount of time watching others acting obnoxious with utter sobriety.