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Wristcutters: A Love Story


Stars: Patrick Fugit, Shannyn Sossamon, Shea Whigham, Leslie Bibb

Director: Goran Dukic

In this sluggish black comedy, those who have taken their own lives find themselves in a kind of limbo-land, where the physical evidence of their suicide method is all too obvious. One man, for example, has a hole in the top of his head where he shot himself.

It's a pretty novel notion, but the execution, alas, is woeful: uninspired, slow and boring, full of scenes of Zia (Fugit) and two acquaintances, Gene (Whigham) and Mikal (Sossamon) driving along dusty roads. Otherwise, the film's sole original idea is a black hole beneath the car's glove compartment, down which objects, once dropped, irretrievably disappear.

Wristcutter Zia is trying to find his ex, Desiree (Bibb), who has also offed herself. Subsidiary characters, played by such as Jake Busey, Abraham Benrabi, Azura Skye and Sarah Roemer, drift into the story and then disappear, never to be seen again. The car-borne trio eventually ends up at a kind of hippie commune run by Kneller (Tom Waits) who, while searching for his lost dog, demonstrates that the dead can perform small 'miracles'. Poor Zia spends the rest of the film trying to do one, a bit like Oliver Hardy fruitlessly trying to imitate Stan Laurel's 'finger-lighting' routine in their comedy films.

The end is a bit of a cheat, but you might have lost interest by then anyway. It's a good opportunity largely spurned by direction that's not half sharp enough. Faces are chalky pale, though, as befits the newly-dead.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Miracle. Colour by FotoKem.
91 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 20 Nov 2007