Plot: Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) and Vince Collins (Colin Firth) were one of the hottest properties in Hollywood, a comedic duo that dazzled audiences and always packed the house with adoring fans. But the two splintered out of the blue and Vince more or less vanished from the limelight, in a mysterious and never explained turn of events that has always left fans curious. But journalist Karen O’Connor (Alison Lohman) is tasked to uncover the truth about the duo’s falling out and whatever other dirty secrets she can find, as Vince has agreed to cooperate on a tell all novel. Decades have passed and he is in need of the income, so he agrees to reveal some of the unknown elements of the partners’ fame and fortune days. She learns of a young woman who was involved with the two, only to suffer a tragic fate, ties to organized crime, and some secret sexual trysts, though both Vince and Lanny are hesitant to be fully honest. What happened to drive the two apart and can Karen bring the truth to light?
Entertainment Value: This one has a great cast and Atom Egoyan’s capable direction, but feels more like a polished b movie than serious thriller, which might steer some off from Where the Truth Lies. The tone is serious, but there is a camp vibe in most scenes and the narrative is all over the place, so while it wants to be serious, it is hard to take the movie seriously. So if you’re after a sincere, well crafted thriller, you will likely be let down, but I think the film has some positives, leading with the cast, but also the high melodrama and camp value. I also just have a soft spot for plots that make little to no sense and Where the Truth Lies falls into that category, mostly because it tries to make things overly complicated and twist driven. But I think overwrought twists and turns can be fun and at a certain point, muddled narratives can sometimes transcend into humor and I think that’s the case here. The performances are over the top and melodramatic, which I have a lot of fun with, especially given the talent level found here. Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth have the Martin & Lewis routine worked out well, while Alison Lohman channels a soap opera with her humorous effort. I had fun with this one and as long as you’re not expecting a serious thriller or drama, the camp and above average cast is enough to recommend Where the Truth Lies.
This movie has a flow of sleaze throughout, both in terms of narrative and on screen nakedness. This should be no surprise, given the controversy around the film at the time and the eventual NC-17 label, but some people still find themselves caught off guard by the level of naked flesh found here. There’s a good amount of sex scenes, with numerous topless moments, bare asses of both male and female persuasions, and even some full frontal at times. The scene with Lanny’s manager offers the most explicit nudity, with a considerable bush on full showcase. There’s also a fun sequence where Lanny and Vince squabble over how much friendly fire is allowed during their threesomes. Some tense scenes unfold, but aside from a naked corpse in a bathtub, there’s no blood or even horror related elements at work here. The dialogue can be fun, mostly thanks to the cast dialing up the melodrama. Lohman is a great source of over the top delivery, while Bacon is always fun and doesn’t disappoint. The lines are melodramatic and campy, but offer some solid entertainment. The craziness is limited to the convoluted narrative, over the top performances, and rampant sleaze, so not a super high score, but some fun stuff is sprinkled throughout.
Overall Insanity: 3/10
The Disc: Where the Truth Lies was released on Blu-ray from Mill Creek as part of the 6 Degrees Collection, with five other Kevin Bacon movies. The visual treatment is passable, but not the kind of presentation that will turn heads. The image shows solid detail and looks better than a DVD, with natural colors and smooth contrast. Not a dazzling effort, but more than reasonable, considering the price asked.