Wristcutters: A Love Story

Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006) movie poster

(2006) dir. Goran Dukic
viewed: 04/22/08

An oddball romantic comedy, pretty much made with a guaranteed cult following, Wristcutters: A Love Story came and went pretty quick, but I am willing to guess that it’ll find a following on DVD like many other such films.  Saying “other such films” is a bit of a misnomer, though.  It’s offbeat, funny, morbid, black comedy, but with a love story that will probably allow for its popular adoption.  Though it’s nothing like them, the films that come to mind in comparison are Alex Cox’s Repo Man (1984) and Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko (2001), films in which the off-beatness is hard to put a finger on, some parts the narrative choice, some part the tone, the humor, the elan.

It’s not that I think that Wristcutters is brilliant, but I do have to say I did like it overall.

The film starts with a suicide.  Then it turns out that all suicides end up back in a world much like the one they left, only it’s a little bit worse.  Everything sucks a little more and no one can smile.  Everyone has a story of “how they offed themselves” and everyone is a little intimidated to do it again for fear of what comes next.  And our lead, who slit his wrists over a girl, finds out that she followed him into the abyss only a little while later.  The film becomes a road movie of sorts.  A road movie with just road, no destination.  And Tom Waits.

He also falls in love with a girl.  None other than Shannyn Sossamon, one of my little favorite actresses for physical attraction and overall not-so-goodness.  Actually, this is the first film in which she’s actually not so bad.  It’s redemptive for her.  She’s very pretty and here she gets to play in a fun, weird little film, something perhaps more suited to her potential.

Adapted by writer/director Goran Dukic from a short story by Etgar Keret, it’s just the sort of thing that you wished there was a little more of, films that do actually take a different route, a different tone, try to depict a different universe, that play and have fun.  Again, it’s not that it’s brilliantly executed, but it does work, and I do like it.  And I have actually been recommending it to a few people.

You too.

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