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The Business of Strangers Details


Two women on different ends of the spectrum of corporate power come together with explosive results in this drama. Julie Styron (Stockard Channing) is a successful executive with a major international corporation who is starting to feel the pressure of her position; she has few friends and no family to buffer her from the responsibilities of her work, and she suspects that the company's CEO is thinking about replacing her. Trying to get one step ahead, she meets with the slightly manipulative headhunter Nick Harris (Frederick Weller). Julie's anxieties come to a head when she has to give a major out-of-town presentation without the help of her assistant Paula Murphy (Julia Stiles), who failed to show up on time. Furious, Julie gives Paula a severe dressing down before firing her, but then Julie is called into a meeting with Nick in which she gets some unexpected news -- she's going to be taking over his job. Eager to celebrate, Julie runs into Paula, and tries to apologize for their earlier encounter by offering her a hotel room for the night and a few drinks. In time, Nick also turns up at the hotel and the women - upon running into him - realize that he is a mutual acquaintance. Later, Paula shares a secret with Julie -- Nick raped one of her friends while they were in college, and since then Paula has pondered taking revenge against him. Julie is eventually drawn into Paula's plan when they encounter Nick later that evening. But there may be more to Paula than meets the eye. The Business of Strangers was the first feature from writer and director [[Performer~P293479~Patrick Stettner~patrickstettner]]; the film was shown in competition at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:December 7, 2001


Awarded by
American Film Institute Stockard Channing Best Actress 2001 Nominee


Stockard Channing
as Julie Styron
Julia Stiles
as Paula Murphy
Frederick Weller
as Nick Harris
Marcus Giamatti
as Robert
Salem Ludwig
as Man At Pool
Shelagh Ratner
as Airport Announcer
Mary Testa
as Receptionist
Jack Hallett
as Mr. Fostwick
Buddy Fitzpatrick
as Waiter


Patrick Stettner
Robert H. Nathan
Susan A. Stover
Patrick Stettner
Teodoro Maniaci
Keiko Deguchi
Dina Goldman
Production Designer
Scott McGehee
Executive Producer
David Siegel
Executive Producer
Tora Peterson
Set Designer
Noah Vivekanand Timan
Sound/Sound Designer
Nicole Arbusto
Joy Dickson
Cecily Kaston
Set Medic/First Aid
Derrick Tseng
Line Producer