CINEMA: DEAD DRUNK

FEAR AND SELF-LOATHING IN LEAVING LAS VEGAS

IN ITS OPENING MOMENTS LEAVING Las Vegas establishes the fact that Ben (Nicolas Cage) quite self-consciously intends to drink himself to death on a maniacally accelerated program. What better place to do so than the title city, world capital of self-loathing?

Soon after arriving there he meets Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a masochist who is perhaps not quite as smart and tough as she thinks she is, and thus obviously in line for a painful comeuppance. What could be more appealing to her than a relationship with the visibly doomed Ben?

So she invites him to move in with her--no sex, please,...

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