A brilliant researcher in London who works as a high-class hooker in her spare time, becomes a pawn in a dangerous political game, when her latest client, a nobleman who is negotiating an Arab-Israeli peace treaty, falls for her.
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Dr. Lauren Slaughter, a brilliant research fellow at the Arab-Anglo Institute in London is utterly frustrated by her career. To supplement her income, she starts moonlighting at the Jasmine Escort Service, where she has more control over men and money than she does at the office. On one of her dates, Lauren meets the politician Lord Sam Bulbeck who is trying to mediate a peace accord between the Arabs and Israelis. Bulbeck falls in love with his escort, and unwittingly, Lauren becomes a pawn in some very dirty politics.Written by
Thorsten Roskowetz <email@example.com>
One of five 1986 movies starring Sir Michael Caine. Two of them featured major characters who were call girls, this movie, and Mona Lisa (1986). See more »
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Dr Lauren Slaughter is an American academic who comes to London to work for a foreign-affairs think-tank. Her work is prestigious but badly paid, and Lauren decides to supplement her income by moonlighting for an upmarket escort agency, mostly catering for the needs of wealthy foreign businessmen. The set-up is not officially a prostitution ring, but sails fairly close to being one; the idea is that the man pays for the girl's company and it is then up to her whether she goes to bed with him. Lauren proves a success in her new line of work and is able to leave her downmarket flat for a much more exclusive residence in the Half Moon Street of the title. The film explores what happens when she falls in love with one of her clients, Lord Bulbeck, a Government foreign office minister involved in negotiations towards a Middle East peace settlement.
This is not really one of Michael Caine's best films. Most of his best performances have come in films where he has played characters who are, in one sense or another, outsiders or rebels against the system- the down-at-heel spy in "The Ipcress File", the Cockney womaniser in "Alfie", the gangster in "Get Carter", the cynical, disillusioned academic in "Educating Rita" or the drunken minor diplomat in "The Honorary Consul". Admittedly, his first starring role was in "Zulu", where he played the upper-class Lieutenant Bromhead, but I have never thought he was the best thing about that film. Here he plays a high-ranking establishment figure, but never seems completely convincing in the role, even though Bulbeck, a working-class trade union official raised to the peerage, is a co-opted member of the British establishment rather than one born to the purple.
Sigourney Weaver, however, is better as the heroine. She was, along with the likes of Meryl Streep, Kim Basinger, Jessica Lange and Michelle Pfeiffer, one of the bright new generation of Hollywood actresses who came to prominence in the late seventies and eighties, and gave some great performances in films like "Alien", "Gorillas in the Mist" and "Working Girl". Here she captures the various, often conflicting, aspects of Lauren's personality,- her intelligence, her outgoing nature and a hint of an underlying mercenary ruthlessness, which nevertheless co-exists with a genuine capacity for love.
For most of its length the film is a psychological romantic drama, like a romantic comedy without the jokes, and as such it works reasonably well. Towards the end, however, it morphs into a political thriller as Lauren discovers that she has become embroiled in a conspiracy by opponents of the Middle East peace process to assassinate Bulbeck, and as a thriller it does not work well at all, failing to generate any real tension. Despite a promising beginning, this sudden switch from one genre to another means that "Half Moon Street" is one of those films that fall between two stools. 6/10
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