My problem with Eyes Wide Shut was that I was constantly frustrated — bored — by Tom Cruise’s overly formal, generally repressed behavior as Dr. Bill Harford. I didn’t have the slightest interest in the well-being of his marriage to Nicole Kidman’s Alice, and I never believed for a second that Bill and Alice (whose dialogue was so slowly spoken and excruciatingly banal at every turn) had any kind of hot sex life going. So the final lines in the film, spoken by Alice, didn’t land.
I believed that Bill was upset by Alice’s story about a sexual dalliance with a sailor, and I believed he was curious enough about exotic sexuality to sniff around here and there, but I didn’t believe he experienced even a semblance of hormonal arousal during all his nocturnal wanderings. Bill was a prig and a stiff, and Stanley Kubrick’s film, while mesmerizing and perfectly composed, used way too much starch.
I like two scenes in the whole thing — the third-act, cut-the-bullshit, pool-table discussion between Bill and Sydney Pollack’s rich guy, and Bill’s chat with Alan Cumming’s gay hotel clerk.