In this erotic thriller, a young English couple on vacation in Venice find themselves seduced by a mysterious older couple. Mary (Natasha Richardson) and Colin (Rupert Everett) have come to Italy to chart the future of their troubled relationship. They soon meet Robert (Christopher Walken), the enigmatic owner of a picturesque watering hole. He entertains them with copious vino and colorful stories of a childhood spent with a brutal, domineering father. Later, drunk and lost in the maze-like city, the couple once again encounter Robert, who puts them up at his gorgeous villa. They also meet his wife, Caroline (Helen Mirren), who suffers from crippling back pain and obvious emotional instability. Fascinated by the glamorous older couple but disturbed by their dysfunctions, Colin and Mary find themselves slowly drawn into sexual and emotional games that culminate in sudden violence. Directed by Paul Schrader, The Comfort of Strangers was adapted by playwright Harold Pinter from the novel by Ian McEwan. Richardson previously starred in Patty Hearst, Schrader's portrait of the newspaper heiress-turned-terrorist.