A Hollywood screenwriter and raging alcoholic (Nicolas Cage) who had burned all his bridges long ago resolves to relocate to Vegas and drink himself to death. There he meets a gorgeous prostitute (Elisabeth Shue), similarly subjecting herself to daily degradation and recently and fortuitously relieved of her duties to an abusive pimp, and the two enter a relationship based on respect and non-interference. Although Mike Figgis' Leaving Las Vegas, which he scripted from a novel from John O'Brien, lends itself to cliches and melodrama it still tells an incredibly moving, not entirely believable love story. Cage's performance is goofy and over the top but so heartfelt and genuine and Shue demonstrates just as much sincerity, while generating just as much empathy.
*** 1/2 out of ****