An intriguing set-up is only half-realized in Interview, the Steve Buscemi-directed remake of a 2003 Theo van Gogh film. The premise: a political journalist, Pierre, is pulled out of his comfort zone to interview a popular actress known as Katya, who he's clueless about. Their initial meeting at a posh restaurant goes awry when she shows up late and he, not being steeped in the realities of celeb journalism, takes offense. Within minutes they are like lawyers, correcting each other's assertions and sniffing out any bad insinuation. "They certainly loved your slasher film," Pierre says, to which Katya replies coldly: "The horror film?" This opening interplay between Buscemi and Sienna Miller, as Katya, is fun, but the film stretches believability to get to its main action: after the two storm out of the restaurant in mutual disgust, Katya causes a fender-bender by catching the eye of a cab driver who is driving Pierre away. Pierre comes stumbling out of the cab, practically into the arms of Katya, and she, feeling guilty, invites him back to her apartment. Uh-huh.
Once interviewer and subject are where they need to be, there are a few ways the film can go: romance could bloom (a possibility seemingly short-circuited by Buscemi casting himself in the leading man role), a naturalistic film-length conversation could commence (the option I was hoping for, having never seen the van Gogh original), or we could have what's behind door number three: a night of teasing, false starts at intimacy, dramatic and melodramatic reveals, and the occasional sharp observation about the mutual parasitism of the celebrity-journalist relationship. It's door three. Interview turns out to be a mediocre 'night to remember' film in which the half-intrigued, half-bored actress and the caustic journalist try to get the best of each other. Their interaction in Katya's loft tends to go like this: Pierre finds an opening to serious conversation and then Katya's phone rings (the sound of a yapping dog, which Pierre rightly points out is incredibly annoying) and she runs into the nearby bedroom space and flops down on the bed, leaving Pierre alone to snoop around.