Samantha Caine is a perfectly normal mother and schoolteacher. She lives in a peaceful suburban neighborhood, raising her daughter Caitlin (Yvonne Zima), and couldn't want for anything. However, Samantha has no past. Suffering from amnesia after being found badly injured, Sam doesn't know who she was. But that's okay - some other people know who she was, and they're coming to find her.Now she has to find out why they want to kill her.The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) stars Geena Davis as Samantha Caine/Charly Baltimore and Samuel L. Jackson as Mitch Hennessey, a private investigator she hires to find out about her past. During the course of his investigation, Hennessey uncovers some unpleasant truths, and Samatha must decide whether to abandon her past or embrace it at the cost of her family.
Alcohol Hic: Near the beginning, Samantha lampshades this trope while on the way home from a Christmas party with her clearly drunk friend, jokingly mentioning bubbles coming from his mouth that make a "hic" sound when they pop.
Bond Villain Stupidity: The bad guys twice have our heroine helpless in their power, but fail to just shoot her. The first time is somewhat justified by their need to interrogate her, but they still leave just one guy to do the job despite knowing how dangerous she is. The second time? They monolog their entire plan to her, then leave her Locked in a Freezer. Luckily, she's filled her daughter's doll with gasoline, you know, just in case she needed to set fire to stuff. Averted in the case of Mitch's case, as they intended to just shoot him (or stab him, there was some debate), but were too slow, giving Charlie time to blow stuff up and distract them.
Bring My Brown Pants: A teenaged boy is smoking a cigarette when he is surprised by Charly the Spy coming up behind him with a big sniper rifle. He pees his pants.
Seeing the local Hot Mom in stretch pants and carrying a BFG calmly state "Tell anyone you saw me, I'll blow your fucking head off" would tend to have that effect on a person.
Chekhov's Gun: Samantha slips a matchbook into her daughter's sling, so that she can keep a candle lit while her mother's away. Once Sam has her memory back and is Charly Baltimore, she and her daughter are Locked In A Freezer, where the matches (along with some gasoline) allow her to blow up the freezer door and escape.
Lighting a candle in the window, so Sam can find "her way home".
Alley Agent: Hey honey, this is a real big fuckin' gun. Mitch: This ain't no ham on rye pal.
Crazy-Prepared: Waldman, who carries three handguns on himself at all times.
Mitch: Jesus, old man! How many of those things you got?! Waldman: Three: one shoulder, one hip, and one right next to Mr. Wally. Most pat-downs don't reveal it as an agent is often reluctant to feel up another man's groin.
Deadpan Snarker: Everyone. But especially Sam/Charly, Mitch, and Nathan Waldman.
Mitch: Excuse me, uh... do you normally curse this much? Sam: I... what, are you a Mormon? Mitch: Yes, I'm a Mormon. That's why I just smoked a pack of Newport and drank three vodka tonics.
Mitch: (in shock) We jumped out of a building! Waldman: Yes, and it was very exciting. Tomorrow we go to the zoo.
Charly: Gun Bulge. Mitch: You think I'm gonna shove it down my pants? Shoot my damn dick off... Charly: So now you're a sharpshooter?
Dirty Old Man: Samantha drives an inebriated older man home from her Christmas party. During the drive, he asks if Samantha and her fiancee ever... followed by a suggestive hand gesture. Samantha attempts to deflect his question by saying "Make a circle with our fingers and move another finger in and out? Every chance we get." Later on he causes a car crash by trying to touch his nose eyes closed, waving a hand in front of Sam, to prove he's not drunk.
The Dragon: Timothy, who becomes the Big Bad when the previous one is killed halfway through the film (though even then, he still works for the corrupt CIA boss Leland).
Dye or Die: Charly dyed her auburn hair blonde. Samantha let it grow out. Didn't help her.
Genre Shift: Technically, both sides are action, but every aspect of the film takes a hard turn when Charly regains her memory.
Gun Fu: One of the earliest western examples before John Woo migrated to America. Noteworthy examples include:
Leaping out of an exploding building and shooting the frozen lake below to soften the impact of landing.
Loosening a cable tied to a corpse hanging from the top of a bridge's bannister, making the corpse drop; holding onto the rope and allowing the corpse's weight to pull you UP RIGHT NEXT TO THE HELICOPTER 50 FEET ABOVE YOU and blowing your evil-ex-lover to smithereens at point blank range, with the Uzi you just grabbed from the falling corpse as you passed it.
IKEA Weaponry: One of Samantha's first steps toward remembering her past is finding and reassembling the sniper rifle hidden in her old suitcase. Seeing her putting together a weapon she doesn't even properly recognize is one of the creepiest scenes in the film.
Important Haircut: When Samantha becomes fully aware of her Charly identity, she underlines the change in her mind by changing her appearance, which includes cutting her hair and dying it blonde. At the end of the film her hair is still blonde, but it's back to it's pre-Charly length, symbolizing that she has embraced both her kind and nurturing Samantha personality as well as her tough and independent Charly personality.
Informed Attractiveness: Calling Geena Davis unattractive would be a stretch, but no fewer than five characters comment on Charly/Sam's attractiveness. Of course, the film was produced and directed by her husband.
Living Lie Detector: Timothy boasts of this ability. It comes back to bite him in the ass when Charley promises to kill him dead.
Charly: "You're gonna die screaming. And I'm gonna watch. Am I telling the truth?"
Locked in a Freezer: Charly uses a meathook to scrape a hole in the ground under the door, fills the hole with gasoline, and blows the door off its hinges. She's nothing if not resourceful.
Luke, You Are My Father: As Timothy is about to leave Charly and her young daughter Caitlin to freeze to death together in a meat locker, Charly reveals that Caitlin's also his. He leaves them both in the locker anyway.
Mama Bear: Samantha, made even more dangerous because of her assassin training.
Martial Arts and Crafts: The protagonist becomes really good in the kitchen shortly after a car crash. She thinks her memories are starting to return after eight years of amnesia, and that her great skill with knives mean she used to be a chef. She's right about the first part.
Mondegreen: Mitch is hearing England Dan and John Ford Coley's "I'd Really Like to See You Tonight" on the radio, and sings along, using the phrase, "I'm not talking 'bout the linen," when Samantha corrects him that the actual words in the song are "I'm not talking about moving in."
Revealing Skill: The protagonist is a sweet innocent soccer mom with a memory loss - she hit her head five years ago, and her entire life before that is forgotten. Shortly after the start of the movie, she's suddenly creepily good with knives. She says that she must have been a chef before the accident, but it's undeniable that she as well as her family have received the first clue that she was, something else...
Revolvers Are Just Better: Mitch likes revolvers; the two guns he keeps on himself are a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson Model 36 and a Colt King Cobra .357 magnum.
Running Gag: Mitch hums a standard blues riff to himself when he's thinking. This culminates in him driving out of the back of a truck while the riff blares out on electric guitars.
The title seems to be a shout out to the film The Long Goodbye, a Phillip Marlowe mystery/satire where the character is eternally twenty years behind everyone else. The film is even shown on TV in one scene.
Split Personality: Davis does an eerily good job of making the audience believe she's two people.
Mitch: Jesus, old man, how many of those you got? Nathan: Three — one shoulder, one hip, and one here right next to Mr. Wally. Most patdowns never reveal it as an agent's often reluctant to feel up another man's groin. Other questions? Mitch: Yeah — what's the weather like on your planet?
The Vamp: Slinky, knife-throwing terrorist Timothy is a rare male Vamp.
Victoria's Secret Compartment: One of Charly's few allies keeps a gun strapped to the inside of his thigh because he knows it's the only place another man won't search.