Wristcutters: A Love Story (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/11/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 88 mins

Enjoyably quirky black comedy that's clearly destined to become a cult movie amongst the Gothic contingent.

What's it all about?
Based on the short story Kneller's Happy Campers by Edgar Keret, Wristcutters: A Love Story stars Patrick Fugit (from Almost Famous) as Zia, a heartbroken twenty-something who kills himself after he's dumped by his girlfriend Desiree (Leslie Bibb). However, Zia winds up in a purgatory populated exclusively by other people who’ve committed suicide and where everything is more or less the same as in the real world, just a little worse.

Zia meets a host of eccentric characters, each of whom is introduced with a short, frequently blackly comic flashback showing how they offed. When he discovers that Desiree also committed suicide he hooks up with Russian misfit Eugene (Shea Whigham) and moody Gothic hitchhiker Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon) and they embark on a road trip, in a car that just happens to have a black hole under the front seat.

The Good
Patrick Fugit and Shannyn Sossamon are both superb, generating a sweet chemistry and sparking off each other well. Sossamon, in particular, gives her best performance to date.

Whigham is also excellent, playing a character clearly modelled on Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hutz (Everything Is Illuminated) and there are also superb cameos from Tom Waits (as the mysterious Kneller) and from Arrested Development's Will Arnett as a kind of afterlife cult leader.

The Great
The script is quirky, inventive and frequently funny – the bickering relationship between Eugene and Zia is a definite highlight (I am not sitting in back. Everyone knows that man in back does not have cock.). Similarly, Dukic shoots everything in a slightly washed-out palette that is very effective and suitably depressing.

Worth seeing?
Wristcutters: A Love Story is an enjoyably dark rom-com with a great script, inventive direction and superb performances. Frankly, if you have even the slightest hint of Gothic tendencies, there's a good chance this will become your favourite movie of all time. Recommended.

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Content updated: 25/04/2019 20:53

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