The Center of the World

Synopsis: A couple checks into a suite in Las Vegas. In flashbacks we see that he's a computer whiz on the verge of becoming a millionaire, she's a lap dancer at a club. He's depressed, withdrawing from work, missing meetings with investors. He wants a connection, so he offers her $10,000 to spend three nights with him in Vegas, and she accepts with conditions: four hours per night of erotic play, and no penetration. During the days in Vegas, they get to know each other, have fun, meet a friend of hers; at night, at least after the first night, things seem to get complicated. Is mutual attraction stirring? Will they play by their rules? Can it be about more than money?
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Wayne Wang
Production: Artisan Entertainment
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

Rocks for my pillow

and sand for my bed

For better or for worse

I left him for dead

But two rivers

to each other run

Words that shook me

like a kick of a gun

Something in my heart

ain't got no name

Turned out he felt the same

Ain't it lonesome ain't it sad

I was the only happiness

he ever had

By indian river

the vows were said

In a red devil's dress

I was wed

Kitty cat bone, kitty,

kitty cat bone

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty

Kitty cat bone, kitty,

kitty cat bone

Kitty cat bone, kitty, kitty cat

bone here, kitty, kitty, kitty

Kitty cat bone, kitty,

kitty cat bone

Kitty cat bone, kitty, kitty cat

bone here, kitty, kitty, kitty

Kitty cat bone, kitty,

kitty cat bone

Kitty cat bone, kitty, kitty cat

bone here, kitty, kitty, kitty

Kitty cat bone, kitty,

kitty cat bone

Kitty cat bone, kitty, kitty cat

bone here, kitty, kitty, kitty

Kitty cat bone, kitty,

kitty cat bone

Kitty cat bone, kitty, kitty cat

bone here, kitty, kitty, kitty

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty

Here it is - Las vegas.

Fastest growing city in America.

We have Brooklyn Bridge,

Venice Canal, Eiffel Tower.

Everything you want, we have.

We have five restaurants right here

in hotel open 24 hours.

No night, no day. Just fun

and frolic. World of dreams.

Anything you need,

you ask for me.

My name is Vladimir.

I can-do guy. No problem too small,

no problem too big.

Okay, great. Thank you.

Uh, good. Very good.

Thank you very much.

Oh. Hold on.

Hey. Sorry.


Thank you very much, sir.

Enjoy your stay. You too.

It's okay, right?

It's what you wanted?

Right. Okay.

It's okay. You don't have to close that one

'cause you can lock it from the other side.

Hey, I see you

in here having coffee every morning.

I'm Richard. Hi, Richard.

- You are?

- Florence.

Florence what?

Just Florence.

- Well, "just Florence", what do you do?

- I make a lot of noise.

Oh? I play drums.

In a band?


So, you have a CD out?


We're just kind of putting

one together right now.

You know, when you're finished,

you should get your mp3 files together.

Hold on.

You should get

your mp3 files together.

It's a great way for new bands to get

heard. We already thought about that.

So, you make a living

playing the drums?

No. No. Not even close.

What do you do?

I'm a stripper.

Really? God,

you don't look like a stripper.



What do strippers look like?

I don't know.

I mean, they don't look like you.

Where do you perform?

Pandora's box.

I'll see you around.

Have you ever been here before?

No. Have you?


You wanna go out

and take a look around?

Yeah, okay. Yeah,

really? Okay.

Smile. Smile.

Shoot. Okay. Uh, okay.

I didn't cock it.

Did it flash?


I said, no touching.

So, is it weird just being all alone

in front of your computer all day?

I'm not

- No.

Well, the thing about computers is that you're

kind of connected to everybody and everything.

It's like you're

at the center of the world.

Do you miss your computers yet?

Well, I have it with me.

Man! Let's go.

Wanna go?

Yeah? All right.

Okay, come on.



So they're all still back in Ohio?


Everyone except for my sister.

She lives in Santa Rosa.

She's married.

What's her name?

Um, Val.

Does she have kids?

Yeah. A little girl, Megan.

She was born with a wandering eye.

They did all these operations when she was

a kid. She wears these really thick glasses.

She's very pretty.

My dad just died.

Prostate cancer.

Oh, I am so sorry.

It's okay.

Were you guys really close?


He was a great guy. Sweet.

I come from a very tight family,

very Midwestern.

You look good.

What do you want me to do, baby?

What are the options?

The regular routine.


Lap dance - two songs, $60.

I can't go to Vegas with you.

I mean, I gotta work.

Thanks, though. I know you're

working. I know you have to work.

Um, so I can compensate you.

Sorry. I don't do things like that.

What kind of things?

You don't go on,

like, a vacation?

No. I don't have sex

with people for money.

Why do you have to

talk like that?

Richard, there are lots

of other women...

Who would love to do that with you.

What if I paid you, like, $ 10,000?

Jesus Christ! You got a lot

of money to throw around.

Yeah, I made a lot of money

last year - over a million dollars.

- Everyone's a millionaire these days.

- I've worked so hard.

I just- I wanna have fun,

I wanna celebrate.

You know? I'm not a bad guy.

What are you talking about exactly?

Nonstop sex 24 hours a day?

Well, not like nonstop sex,


I just wanna get to know you better.

Oh, you wanna get to know me better.

And I'm not talking about marriage.

It's just the weekend.

All right, let's talk about this.

I'm not saying that I-

- I would... do it, but-

I mean, if I was gonna do it,

there'd be a lot of conditions.


Um, no talk about feelings.


No kissing on the mouth.

No penetration.

What do you mean, no penetration?

I mean, no f***ing.

Okay, I can live with that.

It's all an act. You know that, right?

And you'll

pay me cash, up front.


Oh, hey. How's it going?

Oh, really?

Um, let me just think for a sec.

Um, why don't you start off

by putting like-

Just put 60 back into the fund.



Sell it at 55.

All right.

I mean, when was the last time you got

laid? Since you broke up with Debbie?

That's f***ing two years ago,

dude. You need to get on something.

Man, I don't know what happened to you.

Last year, you were a f***ing genius.

King came up with the best concept of the year

Well, it's- Now you can't

even get out of bed?

But you gotta go all the way.

You took your f***in' 90%

and now you're checkin' out.

You own 18% of this company.

Do you know how much money that is?

That's not courtside seats.

That's buying the f***ing N.B.A. team.

And you're sittin' home jerkin' off,

watchin' porn?

Dude, I got a hundred engineers at

M.I.T. who'd take your place in a minute.

Go get one. Yeah, right.

Not so fast.

We got until 2:

You're right. I don't wanna rush it.

Here's where we goof the map,

Out past the power lines,

up that little sideroad without a sign,

Hidden from the main street.

The keepers of the ancient future,

the keepers of the drama.

They don't preserve it.

They live it.


Hey. I'll be right there.

So you don't seem to be too unhappy,

then. Why would I be unhappy?

I don't know. You were pretty

reluctant to get into all this.

Well, it's not every day a girl

gets to eat oysters...

In a suite in Vegas with Dick Longman.

You have no regrets, then?

Don't be silly.

I'm having a fine time.

Me too.

Do you have a secret fantasy?

Uh, not really.

Come on.

Come on. Everybody has a secret fantasy.

Uh, three days in Vegas

with a beautiful woman.

That's it?


There's nothing that you always

wanted but you never asked for?

Tell me.



Really. The chinese call that "fire and ice. "

No! There's a name for it?

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