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James Woods and Melanie Griffith in "Another Day in Paradise"

Griffith, Woods visit a mean, messed-up 'Paradise'

Web posted on:
Wednesday, December 30, 1998 4:41:06 PM EST

From Correspondent Ron Tank

(CNN) -- They're no Ozzie and Harriet, that's for sure. In fact, they compare favorably to Bonnie and Clyde -- if Bonnie and Clyde had been strung-out drug addicts. Melanie Griffith and James Woods team up in a new film, "Another Day in Paradise," and redefine the concept of the dysfunctional family.

As Sid (Griffith) and Mel (Woods), the duo play opposite Vincent Kartheiser and Natasha Gregson Wagner, with Woods and Griffith the older, more criminally experienced couple who take the younger, small-time criminals under their wing. The youngsters get wined and dined and given new clothes, all in preparation for a more upscale life of crime.

A few scenes from "Paradise"
Video clip: 1.1Mb QuickTime

The film is laced with profanity, violence and drugs, but Griffith says, "it's very anti-drug, you know. It doesn't glamorize drug addicts at all."

Woods, who also gets his first producer credit for the film, says, "I read this script, it was like taking a trip through the other side of hell."

But Griffith's character has some redeeming qualities, which she hopes will let audiences relate to Sid on some level. After all, she says, "If you just see a bunch of mean, really messed-up people, you kind of leave going, 'Wow, why did I go?'"

"There was nothing about it that was as I expected, nothing was predictable," says Woods. "Every time I thought they were going one way, they went another."

Vincent Kartheiser and Natasha Gregson Wagner

The same might also be said of the experience Woods had producing the film. "Well, you know the story," he says, "The guy who wrote the book just got arrested last week, and I think he's out now on bail or something, and our director's in rehab ... as a producer, it was a nightmare."

Yet the film's budget, by Hollywood standards anyway, was no nightmare. Produced at a cost of around $4.5 million, this slice of low-life was relatively cheap. But promotion is another story. "Studios spend tens of millions of dollars just on Academy Award campaigns," Woods says, "let alone the promotion of the picture." So on his next trip to New York to promote the film, he says, "I'm flying coach."

All problems aside, however, Woods says it's the best work he and Griffith have ever done and he hopes moviegoers will at least give it a chance. Just remember, "Another Day in Paradise" is no picnic.

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