Numb (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner12/06/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 93 mins

Sharply observed, emotionally engaging drama with strong performances from Matthew Perry and Lynn Collins.

What's it all about?
Loosely based on the experiences of writer-director Harris Goldberg, Numb stars Matthew Perry as Hudson Milbank, a successful Hollywood screenwriter (though his partner, Kevin Pollak, does all the actual writing), whose assortment of psychological issues come to a head when he's diagnosed with depersonalization disorder, seemingly triggered by a marijuana binge. The disorder makes Hudson feel disconnected from his body and everything around him, until he meets Sara (heart-stoppingly gorgeous Lynn Collins), with whom he feels he can truly be himself.

However, when Hudson's kleptomania causes a rift with Sara, he feels even more cut off and eventually ends up having an affair with his obsessed behavioural therapist (a hilarious Mary Steenburgen). Can he win Sara back and regain control of his life?

The Good
Despite his front-and-centre presence (and a constant voiceover that quickly becomes irritating), this is emphatically not a Matthew Perry comedy vehicle like The Whole Nine Yards. Instead, Perry strips down his wise-cracking Chandler (Bing, not Raymond) persona and delivers an impressively straight performance that pulls off the difficult trick of being emotionally engaging, even if his condition means that he's not actually displaying that much emotion at any given time.

There's also terrific support from Lynn Collins, who transcends the inherent cliches of her dream girl role and creates a captivating character with her own set of quirks and neuroses. She also has strong chemistry with Perry, which works well, as you really believe that Hudson would be motivated to turn his life around for her.

The Great
Goldberg's script is excellent, examining a serious, thought-provoking subject but lacing it with flashes of humour. That said, it's hard to escape the amusing realisation that Goldberg was suffering from depersonalization disorder when he wrote some of Hollywood's least funny comedies (The Master of Disguise, Without a Paddle and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo).

Worth seeing?
Numb is an impressively written, superbly acted and emotionally engaging drama that's well worth seeking out. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Numb (15)
Numb has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 20/10/2017 15:01

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