Don't bother with Woody's offering this year - it's far from his best. This one is full of reheated ideas that have blessed better efforts from him in the past.
It again features an older man-younger woman scenario. Here Phoenix is the dissolute new philosophy lecturer at a quaint New England university who falls into a relationship with pretty student Stone. When they overhear a chance conversation in an eatery it leads the languid prof to hatch a murder plot unbeknownst to his attractive paramour. By doing this it gives him a new lease of life and releases him from the rut that his life has recently been in.
Phoenix is perfectly believable as both unmotivated schlub and enthused would-be murderer while Stone is gorgeous and engaging as his infatuated lover. There's fine work too from Posey as a fellow teacher in an unhappy marriage who has the hots for the new academic. Her desperation for a new life of excitement is pleasingly and persuasively drawn.
Unfortunately the plot becomes more unconvincing as it goes on, with the climax proving especially hackneyed. There's also an unwelcome over-reliance on voice-over narration - we do not need to be told what a character is thinking at various times thank you. We're intelligent enough to discern this ourselves. Overall this is a weak one from the Woodster. Let's hope he regains form next year.