Very Bad Things

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Very Bad Things
Very Bad Things.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Berg
Produced by Cindy Cowan
Diane Nabatoff
Michael Schiffer[1]
Screenplay by Peter Berg
Starring Cameron Diaz
Jon Favreau
Daniel Stern
Jeremy Piven
Christian Slater
with Leland Orser
and Jeanne Tripplehorn
Music by Stewart Copeland
Cinematography David Hennings
Edited by Dan Lebental
Production
company
Distributed by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Release dates
  • November 25, 1998 (1998-11-25)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million[2]
Box office $21 million[3]

Very Bad Things is a 1998 American black comedy film directed by Peter Berg, based on the book by Gene Brewer. It stars Cameron Diaz, Jon Favreau, Daniel Stern, Jeremy Piven, Christian Slater, Leland Orser and Jeanne Tripplehorn.

Plot[edit]

Before his wedding to fiancée Laura (Cameron Diaz), Kyle Fisher (Jon Favreau) organizes a bachelor party in a Las Vegas hotel with his friends: Charles Moore (Leland Orser), Robert Boyd (Christian Slater), brothers Adam and Michael Berkow (Daniel Stern and Jeremy Piven). Michael pays Tina (Kobe Tai), a stripper/prostitute, for sex in the bathroom and accidentally kills her. Soon thereafter, a security guard comes to investigate the ruckus and discovers Tina's corpse. In desperation, Boyd stabs the guard to death. Unsure of what to do, Boyd convinces the group to dismember the bodies, bury them in the desert, and never speak of it again.

At the rehearsal dinner, Adam cracks under the pressure, leading to a confrontation with Michael outside. The fight is broken up and Michael is convinced to leave. While leaving, he tries to ram his jeep into Adam's beloved minivan. Adam runs in front of his van and is crushed in the collision. In the hospital, Adam whispers something to his wife Lois (Jeanne Tripplehorn) before dying.

Lois demands answers about what happened in Las Vegas. Fisher makes up a story about Adam sleeping with a prostitute. Boyd, suspecting she does not believe them, kills Lois. Later, Boyd calls Fisher and Moore to bring Michael to the house, where he kills him. He concocts a story about a Michael/Lois/Adam love triangle to answer any interrogation by police. After these events and being named beneficiary of Adam and Lois' estate, Fisher breaks down and confesses the story to Laura, who demands that the wedding she has dreamed about proceed as planned.

On the wedding day, Boyd confronts Fisher, demanding the money from Adam's life insurance policy. Fisher refuses and a fight ensues which ends with Laura bludgeoning Boyd. During the ceremony, Fisher and Moore realize that Boyd has the wedding rings. Moore goes to retrieve them, opening a door that knocks Boyd down a stairwell where he dies. Laura demands Fisher bury Boyd's body in the desert and then ensure no loose ends remain by killing Moore. Ultimately, Fisher cannot go through with the act and as drives home, he loses focus and crashes into an oncoming car.

After the collision, Fisher has had both his legs amputated below the knee and Moore is brain damaged and confined to a motorized wheelchair, leaving Laura to care for all of them in addition to raising Adam's sons. As Laura watches Fisher's futile attempt to control the two boys, she realizes her life and dreams are totally ruined and suffers a nervous breakdown as she runs out of the house and collapses screaming in the street.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film scored a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus, "Mean-spirited and empty."[4] Roger Ebert wrote that Very Bad Things is "not a bad movie, just a reprehensible one."[5] Some critics appreciated the cold-blooded approach, however. Mitland McDonagh of TV Guide said, "In a world filled with crude movie sitcoms, Berg's bitter, worst-possible-case scenario really does stand alone."[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]