Stockard Channing is nuanced as Julie, a simmering corporate drone who has sacrificed family life for power and control. At an out-of-town business presentation, her assistant Paula (Julia Stiles) arrives forty-five minutes late. In a fit of rage, Julie fires her on the spot. That afternoon, the CEO of Julie’s company informs her that she’s been promoted; she’ll be taking his position. In the mood to celebrate, Julie heads to the hotel bar where, to her surprise, she encounters Paula. Julie wants to make amends. Paula is cool but willing. The two hit it off and spend the rest of the evening at the hotel. When Julie’s headhunter Nick (Frederick Weller) shows up unexpectedly, things get interesting. Paula tells Julie that he raped her friend in Boston and so the two plot revenge to teach him a lesson. The rest is a study in debauchery that leaves Julie unsure of herself. Stiles and Channing play smoothly off each other, slowly tightening the screws to win control. The outward coolness of the characters is reflected in the even tracking shots, but the tension between them is reflected in the mise-en-scene, becoming more cramped and claustrophobic as the picture unfolds.