Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pacific Heights

According to Wikipedia, Pacific Heights is located in one of the most scenic and park-like settings in Northern California, offering panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, and the Presidio.Into this idyllic setting move Patty (Melanie Griffith) and Drake (Matthew Modine), a struggling yuppie couple who fudge the numbers on their home lone application of a large Victorian home, where they hope to rent out the two ground floor rooms. After a barrage of questionable applicants, the couple finally decide to rent to an Asian couple and a slick, seemingly genuine tenant (Michael Keaton), who turns out to be a vicious scam artist who seeks to take the house from Patty and Drake and destroy their personal lives. John Schlesinger's "Pacific Heights" is an effective thriller based on a flimsy plot which the filmmakers try their darndest to seem authentic but still comes off as entirely implausible (I don't believe a tenant can move into an apartment without paying rent, and not be swiftly evicted). Yet on this shaky foundation, and along with Schlesinger's firm direction, the film is greatly aided by the performance of its cast. Griffith is extremely appealing as the stronger partner compare to Modine's weakling, and Michael Keaton, who must have been in high demand to play another home eviction character following "Beetlejuice", is genuinely creepy in his role.