Frank Falenczyk (Kingsley) is a mob hitman. Or rather he would be if his drinking problem didn't mean he kept messing up his jobs. A liability, he should be offed himself but this is the 21st Century and Frank is related to the boss (Baker Hall) so, instead, it's a West Coast exile. AA meetings and a temporary job at a funeral home.
It's a highly contrived situation and one that stops the film achieving the cult status of, say, the director's one bona fide classic, The Last Seduction. But, as slight and wilfully eccentric as it all is, it's an enormously enjoyable, if forgettable, dark comedy. Kingsley gets to play the lighter version of his Sexy Beast character, is never less than watchable and is always at the heart of the film's best moments. Of these, Frank's unerring honesty and his reaction to the huggier-than-he's-used-to AA meetings are particularly amusing but the highlight has to be his tentative romance with Laurel (Leoni), the no-nonsense daughter of a corpse he's dressed. Their situation might be exaggerated but the two spark beautifully off each other and keep a sense of humanity even as events threaten to get a little silly. Leoni has always struck me as one of Hollywood's great underrated leads and she only confirms that here. It's her best performance since Flirting With Disaster