starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Vince Vaughn, The Rock, James Woods, Danny DeVito, Andre Benjamin, Christina Milian, Steven Tyler, Cedric the Entertainer and Robert Pastorelli
written by Peter Steinfeld
directed by F. Gary Gray
Based on the novel by Elmore Leonard, John Travolta is Chili Palmer, a movie producer who wants to get into the music business. So he steals a gifted female singer (Christina Milian) under contract to another manager (Harvey Keitel) to record her at the studio owned by his murdered best friend (James Woods) and his wife (Uma Thurman). In America a contract is a big deal - unlike in Asia where many people work just on the basis of verbal consent, and where the written contracts given to foreigners such as myself are no more important than soiled toilet paper - so along the way to getting the girl promoted Chili waltzes with the Russian Mafia, Black Gangsta Rappers, suspicious police, a hit man with an eating disorder (Robert Pastorelli), and the gay bodybuilding bodyguard (The Rock) of the girl singer’s agent - Vince Vaughn, a white, Jewish guy who thinks he is a 1970s black pimp. Throughout it all Chili Palmer is so cool. He’s dressed cool in solid black. He moves and acts cool. He drives a cool car. No situation ruffles him and he has an angle for everything. He’s a man who can handle himself in a street fight or in a corporate boardroom, and there is nothing that he cannot get himself out of unscathed.
I have written before that I think David Carradine is possibly the coolest man alive. But he is getting on in years and Travolta is a strong contender for the honor.
Be Cool is a Hollywoodinsider’s movie. It is full of jokes and references to the movie industry in Hollywood. So it’s kind of like Get Shorty Part Two. It’s not a great movie, but it is fun. See it. See it now!