Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wristcutters: A Love Story

No doubt Wristcutters sat on the shelf for a long time because really... how do you market a long story about two people who committed suicide? And again the cut that director Goran Dukic finally released was probably not quite what he wanted. Dukic actually adapted his screenplay from his father's short story so that is probably why the characters seem to actually have a depth and feeling to them.

Zia (Patrick Fugit from Almost Famous) kills himself after problems with his girlfriend Desiree (Leslie Bibb from Talledega Nights). He finds out that suicides are condemned to live in a world much like the one he left "only a little worse." The fact that this world is made up of only suicides probably has something to do with that. Zia befriends a young immigrant Eugene(Shea Whigham from All the Real Girls) whose entire family has killed themselves. They talk and commiserate about their stories until one day Zia gets info that Desiree has too killed herself. Eugene and Zia set off on a road trip and that is where the story really gets going. The first person they encounter is Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon from A Knight's Tale and every man's wet dream) who is on the road trying to find the people in charge to inform them that she is in this work by mistake.

The story takes some twists and turns with other nice moments from John Hawkes, Tom Waits, and Will Arnett as the story comes to an end. The subject matter of suicide is a tough one to tackle and Dukic manages to craft a near brilliant tale of remarkable originality. His stark vision of the afterlife limbo in which the characters are habitating was missing only the lonely voice of Billy Corgan ala Spun. Suicide is treated with a bit a humor, but never so that is lessens the message of the film. The ending... the ending is just right.

Wristcutters will rightfully become a cult film one day much as Donnie Darko (tepid response in theatres) did in the last few years. One can only hope a true director's cut will come out with the many deleted scenes back in the film where they belong. If that happens my 90 will be a 100.


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