5.15.2003

The Shape of Thangs

I went to see the new Neil LaBute movie, "The Shape of Things" with Trip, Trish and (by custom) El Stu on Tuesday. I won't spoil it for you, but if you're familiar with his work, then you know somebody is gonna get screwed! Yet this movie was less cringe-inducing than "Punch Drunk Love" which I can honestly say was probably the first movie I felt traumatized watching. Even the morbid and depressing "Leaving Las Vegas" didn't have such a distressing effect me!
I guess the film was a play first and it definitely has that feel, distractingly so. I felt the two lead males were not very good actors and I was really bummed that Aaron Eckhart wasn't in the film.
But the thing that bugs me the most about LaBute's movies is that the guy seems to be in state of arrested development concerning his relationships with women. I say that not as some SNAG trying to show how sensitive I am (trust me, fart jokes are funny!), but really for a guy who's married and has kids, his portrayals of male/female politics reminds me of how was when I was 19, utterly bewildered by women and pissed 'cause I wasn't getting any. If I'd been precocious enough, LaBute's canon (with maybe the exception of Nurse Betty-maybe) would be just the kind of stuff I'd be churning out. The dialogue in LaBute's first movie (In The Company of Men) was humorous and captivating. Sure Chad (Eckhart) was a jerk(!), but he was a funny and watchable one. The cast in "Your Friends and Neighbors" was excellent, even though I was turned off by the callow clueless-ness of men and the passive-aggressive-ness of the women. Cary (Jason Patric) was so over the top in the flick, you couldn't help but laugh!
Nurse Betty was OK, even though the plot was weird (I'm all for colorblind casting and all, but Morgan Freeman's hitman was old enough to be Betty's father-ew) and Renee Zellweger acts like she's heavily medicated...which makes her kinda creepy-to me, anyway.
But "The Shape of Things" is probably worst of the four. Adam (Paul Rudd) is a little too dorky. I know 'cause we can smell our own. Personally, I would've deeply suspicious of Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) from the start and you'd think anyone who's such an obvious mark would've been burned a time or two (and thus wary) by the time he got to college. Then there's this almost "X-Files"-like way everyone dances around a subject, never asking the completely obvious questions. So when the enevitble happens it's sort of a relief...
Anyway, that's my two cents whurf.

Thanks fer readin'!

Review by smart person paid to do so here.

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