The last time Nicholson appeared in a film written by Carole Eastman and directed by Rafelson, the result was one of the definitive pictures of the early '70s, Five Easy Pieces. Here Nicholson is Harry Bliss, proprietor of the 'House of Bliss' guard-dog agency. A scuzzy charmer down on his luck, Harry isn't about to let a rich, beautiful and vulnerable client like Joan Spruance (Barkin) slip away from him. Her sister Andy (D'Angelo) owns the luxury mansion in the Hollywood hills, but she's been kidnapped by her boyfriend, one of the most powerful men in America (Dean Stanton); so Joan is all alone, and someone is trying to kill her. The trouble is, the film never seems to know where it's headed. Not quite a romance, a thriller or a comedy, it's a movie with an on-going identity crisis. Barkin, playing against type, produces a shrill caricature of femininity, while Rafelson indulges Nicholson's familiar soft-spoken laxity, another of his personable rogues.