Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

Wristcutters: A Love Story is movie by Goran Dukic, based on a short story by Etgar Keret, starring Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Shannyn Sossamon, Leslie Bibb, Abraham Benrubi, John Hawkes, Will Arnett and Tom Waits.

After the break-up with his girlfriend Desiree (Leslie Bibb), Zia (Patrick Fugit) kills himself. But his death is not the end – instead he ends up in a kind of half-world afterlife, where all the suicides come together. His afterlife is dull, probably even duller than his actual life and not even his friendship with Eugene (Shea Whigham), a rather crazy Russian singer, can change that. But then Zia hears that Desiree committed suicide herself. Since that means, she has to be somewhere in the same afterlife, he convinces Eugene to go on a road trip to look for her. Along the way, they pick up Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon) who is looking for the People in Charge because they made a mistake with her.

Wristcutters is a movie that just floats along. It’s pleasant, it moves you, it’s nice, but it never makes you excited (apart from when Will Arnett shows up because he’s great). It’s a good watch, but I don’t think I’ll be thinking of it very often.

I loved the orignal idea of a dreary afterlife where everybody who ever committed suicide comes together for eternity. I mean, could you think of a better reason not to do it than that? [Not that suicidal people are all awful to hang out with, but there’s a) a general disposition towards depression and b) combine that with the afterlife as we see it here and you really don’t want to go there.] Of course, it also lends itself to wonderfully black humor that is only partly explored in the film, unfortunately.

The cinematography was very well done and nicely captured the dullness of this world with multiple shades of gray and a general lack of color.

The cast was nice. None of the main ones are A-list and it’s not necessarily unjust that they aren’t, but their performances were solid. Tom Waits, unfortunately, is a little stuck in the mediocrity as well, as is John Hawkes, though both of them could do better. It’s Will Arnett who steals everybody the show (which is partly due to his role, I admit, but mostly because he has so much fun with it).

And the film has a very nice soundtrack – a lot of Gogol Bordello, which is always good.

Despite all of these good things, the movie just isn’t as good as it could be. It’s nice. It’s sweet. It’s fine. It’s just nothing that really excites you or pulls you in.

Summarising: Watchable, if you have nothing better to do.

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