English actress Emily Watson plays Chicago goofball Trixie Zurbo, who works as a house detective at some unnamed coastal casino town (actually Vancouver) and encounters various shady types as she digs up a murder mystery.

The "mystery" in question is so completely uninvolving that I won't go into it; as with most of Alan Rudolph's films, Trixie isn't about the story as much as it is about the characters. Dermot Mulroney is quite funny as Trixie's klutzy studboy suitor, Nathan Lane is sporadically tolerable as the casino's drunken comic, and as a corrupt state senator, Nick Nolte is pretty good at first, until he falls into his usual routine of angry barking. (I don't see why people go for Nick Nolte. He gives me a headache.)

As for Watson? Well, you must understand that I am madly in love with her, so I'd let her get away with murder. Her constant gum-chewing may annoy the casual viewer, and her character's nonstop propensity for absurdly mixed metaphors ("He smokes like a fish"; "You've got to grab the bull by the tail and look it in the eye") is definitely polarizing, though Rudolph's screenplay is obviously responsible for that. But if you dig Watson's endlessly expressive face, you're in for a treat, as she unleashes an orgy of eye-rolling, smirking, and mugging.

Again, let me emphasize that Trixie is solely for the handful of Emily Watson fans out there. The movie is otherwise too long, aimless, and rather ugly to look at.