Director: Goran Dukic | 88 minutes | drama, comedy, romance, fantasy | Actors: Patrick Fugit, Shannyn Sossamon, Shea Whigham, Tom Waits, Will Arnett, Leslie Bibb, John Hawkes, Mikal P. Lazarev, Sarah Roemer, Abraham Benrubi, Azura Skye, Nick Offerman, Mark Boone Junior, Jake Busey, Clayne Crawford
Suicide and happiness don’t mix. Committing suicide and then being happy almost seems even more difficult. Yet it happens in “Wristcutters: A Love Story”.
The gray intermediate station where the suicides end up looks suspiciously like America. An America from the pen of a nice European, director Goran Dukic. The gray reality of the images (what a lot of junk along the way there!), Reinforced by softening the colors in the image and making the faces a bit paler, is contrasted by predominantly nice people and police officers in uncoated white shirts , long hair and / or a full beard, which populate the film. Clear ingredients for a real fairytale. of course it is not possible, but Dukic still manages to make you believe that you are in another world. With minimal resources of course, we are talking about an independent here, not a Hollywood blockbuster, fortunately. The atmosphere feels real and with a good dose of humor you swallow it like sweet cake. Because in the end it is only about one thing: love. And that is always and everywhere credible. Especially if the makers’ love for film and for people radiates from the image. Nice to watch.
Patrick Fugit impressed a bit with his role as a reporter in “Almost Famous” (2000), which was shot eight years earlier. In the meantime he did a few episodes “ER”, a bit part in “White Oleander” (2002) and some more small films. He is one of those actors who represent a new trend in Hollywood: the quiet, nice guys. A movement headed by Jake Gyllenhaal (‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘Donnie Darko’) and further represented by Tobey Maguire (‘Spiderman’ and ‘The Cider House Rules’), Wes Bentley (remember: that silent filmmaker in ‘American Beauty’) and perhaps also the brothers Owen and Luke Wilson. Boys who are not always tough, vulnerable even and sometimes ignorant and who, except for Owen Wilson, appear very calm, do not talk too much. As if they are a bit fed up with the Tom Cruises and other machos with their big mouths, at least in the independent circuit.
The lyrics of Dukic himself are very natural and come naturally from the mouths of the cast members. The atmosphere on the set must have been good, the film radiates that, very relaxed, very un-American, Eastern European perhaps. The story unfolds at a pleasant pace, but never gets boring. The best role is for Shea Whigham, who has not really made a breakthrough yet and will not do that with this role, but who shows that he can act. He plays the straightforward and funny Russian Eugene, who, like Captain Haddock, accompanies our hero on the search for his sweetheart. Goran Dukic does not write film history with “Wristcutters: A Love Story”. Not a new ‘Donnie Darko’, but a nice film, especially if you believe in love, peace and happiness, cast in an original jacket. And if you like a quiet road movie à la Jim Jarmusch. Remarkable: supporting role for Tom Waits, who also worked a lot for Jarmusch.