Captures the spirit of Bukowski's prose nicely, I suppose the fact that he wrote it helps, but most directors don't respectfully adhere to the voice of the writer the way Barbet Schroeder does here. If you're a fan of this movie, read Bukowski's novel HOLLYWOOD, in which Bukowski talks about making this movie the way only he can through his Henry Chinaski alter-ego.
I agree with many of the other reviews on here, that Mickey Rourke 'tries too hard'. The affected manner he adopts becomes tiresome and ends up stifling his downbeat performance and natural charisma. Still, some good dialogue scenes and Faye Dunaway was an inspired casting choice.
I guess when you become that much of a drinker you don't puke up your guts or have the ax slamming down into your skull. Poetic licence and let's face it, seeing our two leads staggering about looking for the nurofen probably wouldn't have been as interesting. He spoke a good line did Mickey, but god, I'm having a bath now as I feel unclean.
As someone who works in a bar, I wish the characters were as colourful, wise, tragic and beautiful as they are here. It's a grubby, sad little affair. That Henry is such a great writer hints at the narcissism of both the author and his characters. Still, American confidence; it can't be beat or reasoned with.