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Monday, July 27, 2009

Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

I loved Wristcutters. From minute one, as you watch Patrick Fugit's Zia cleaning his room, to a lovely record of Tom Waits singing Dead and Lovely. And then, so casually, you watch him kill himself and land on his bathroom floor.
Wristcutters appealed to me long before it was released, it was a film I was on the lookout for. I loved the premise of what happens after you've killed yourself. (For me it always reminds me of the the line from Heathers "Now that you're dead, what are you gonna do with your life?".
The plot is basically this: Zia kills himself over his girlfriend, dies and goes into another world, an afterdeath kind of thing. He meets Eugene (SheaWhigham) , loosely based on Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello, who sings the song you'll hear throughout the movie "Through the roof and underground". Anyhow, I really like Eugene ( I like his girlfriend too), and his family, who, yes, all killed themselves. Eugene has a certain Slavic sensibility I recognize and enjoy a lot. A certain pessimistic optimism about him. Zia works for Kamakaze Pizza delivering pizza in the afterlife, and now ranks among my favorite pizza parlor employees in pop culture (including Fry from Futurama and Hiro Protagonist from Snow Crash). He decides to go looking for an ex in the afterlife, the one he killed himself over, and takes a road trip. On said trip he meets hitchhiking Mikal played by the lovely Shannyn Sossamon,who was a pleasant addition. I thought she was an interesting character.
It's a weird film, if you think of the premise. But enjoyable and I found it thought provoking. I liked the little touches (like no one smiling...)
I am not a huge fan of the character Zia, he's there, he's kinda interesting, but he's not the most fascinating thing about this movie.

The magic of some of the scenes in this movie is what appealed to me. The car and the hole in the car slays me. I've had a car like that. Tom Waits and his camp and the characters you meet there are really what made this film for me. I don't want to give anything away but I think it's quite neat. I love Tom Waits and have loved him in every movie I've seen him in (Dracula, The Fisher King, Mystery Train, Down by Law, Queens Logic).
If you can handle the premise, I think you're in for a treat. I enjoyed it a lot.

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