Original Sin [2001]

Original Sin belongs in the "so bad it's good" category of languid potboilers, offering enough nudity, sexual chemistry, and far-fetched plotting to make it an enjoyable lazy-day diversion. Based on Cornell Woolrich's novel Waltz into Darkness (previous filmed by Fran├žois Truffaut as Mississippi Mermaid) and set in turn-of-the-century Cuba, the film traces a tailspin of amorous obsession when coffee plantation owner Luis (Antonio Banderas) discovers that his American mail-order bride (Angelina Jolie) is not the plain wife he'd expected, but a beautiful, scheming thief who's after his fortune. The movie asserts that love is truly blind, but absurd twists of plot make Luis appear more stupid than passionate. Writer-director Michael Cristofer fared better with Jolie in Gia; here, he's made another good-looking film about beautiful people, but its plot just can't be taken seriously. --Jeff Shannon

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