Proof of Life

Proof of Life offers the lure of seeing Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan re-enact their real-life affair on the big screen, and then delivers nothing more than a chaste kiss. The rest is a substandard kidnap-and-ransom thriller in which Crowe, as a hostage negotiator, tries to save Ryan's husband (David Morse) from third-world terrorists. Director Taylor Hackford allows Ryan to mope around in an absurd array of outfits, undeprived of the constant attentions of a hair-and-makeup staff. In an offbeat tribute to Bogie and Claude Rains in Casablanca, Crowe and David Caruso, as another ransom gladiator, steal what's left of the film. Slim pickings.