Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Genres: Black Comedy, Comedy, Heaven-Can-Wait Fantasies, Road Movie, Romantic Comedy
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Goran Dukic Goran Dukic
Patrick Fugit Patrick Fugit
Shannyn Sossamon Shannyn Sossamon
Shea Whigham Shea Whigham
Leslie Bibb Leslie Bibb
Mark Boone Junior Mark Boone Junior

7.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg
Added: May 05, 2008
I am a sucker for the type of films that sport the word "quirky" in their descriptions and praisings. I always come to find a fresh sense of humor, a captivating drama, and originality all around. Things just seem to work out perfectly according to my liking in such. So along comes this indie movie with its catching title, promising concept, and being described as a quirky fantasy -- I'm all over it.

Wristcutters: A Love Story is about a seemingly normal twentysomething male named Zia (Patrick Fugit) who offs himself by cutting his wrists after his girlfriend, Desiree, breaks up with him. Instead of gaining solace and ridding himself of the heartbreak, he ends up in an afterlife for those who commit suicide. This afterlife mimics the real world but is pretty much a wasteland (picture the desert region of Southern California). He shares an apartment with a roommate, has a job at a pizzeria, and mopes around, still longing for alleviation of his sorrow; it all feels the same to him here as it did when he was living, except just a little worse. With a cameo from Jake Busey, Zia is told that Desiree also offed herself just a month after he did. Knowing she has not been living in the same area, he and his newfound Russian drinking buddy, Eugene (Shea Whigham), embark on a road trip to find her. On their way, they meet Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon) who says she has been brought to their afterlife by mistake and so she tags along in hope of finding the P.I.C. (People in Charge).

This afterlife is given a suitably bleak look in its drab color with all objects and sets being old, worn, and cracked. Unfortunately, that's only one of the three little things I found appealing about Wristcutters. For a film that involves the subject of suicide and also tries to develop romantic connections all the while trying to be a quirky black comedy, it was hardly able to evoke emotions of any sort from me. There just wasn't any depth brought to the characters or the story for that matter. The "love story" given is of the same old boy chases after girl #1 but ends up falling in love with girl #2; it's been done countless times over. I honestly wouldn't have had a problem with that if there was at least some sturdy development between the two, though. But since it is seriously just thrown out there to the audience as lazily and as quick as it can be typed "boy falls in love with girl #2," nothing is gained from it. This makes the ending incredibly annoying to watch, especially on top of the frivolity that comes before it.

If I were to give this film repeated viewings, all it would offer me is the eye candy of Shannyn Sossamon, which is really all I got out of it the first time around, and that counts for one of the other things I liked about this movie. The only other aspect of the movie I fully enjoyed was the soundtrack. The dialogue isn't anything special, the acting is fairly ordinary, and the movie takes forever just to go nowhere. It's a shame that the concept of the plot was wasted in such a way since there are so many things that could have been handled a lot better. The overall material in the film seemed very lacking and left my mind to meander at times (don't assume that means I wasn't paying attention) while waiting for the moments of quirkiness to arise, but when they did, they were unsurprisingly limp and felt too forced.

With the large amounts of acclaim I heard surrounding this film, I was more than ready for it to sweep me off my feet... except I wasn't expecting it to do so by dragging me downhill in its mudslide of a story. To frankly put it, Wristcutters: A Love Story just wasn't quirky, comical, insightful, nor original as it could have been. I am not calling it horrible nor damning it, but you'll need to have a very whimsical and innocent mindset to overlook the feeble script.

Tristan #1: Tristan - added 05/05/2008, 06:21 PM
Damn. I was looking forward to this one too. Shame it wasn't better.
Chad #2: Chad - added 05/05/2008, 06:23 PM
Same. It kept flirting with the top of my Netflix queue for ages, but this isn't helping its chances.
Nirrad #3: Nirrad - added 05/05/2008, 06:46 PM
Shit, and I thought this movie was about Tristan....
grain of sand #4: grain of sand - added 05/05/2008, 06:47 PM
I liked this, didn't love it, but I thought it had some redeeming qualities. Tom Waits was good, but the ending was awful and the repeated Gogol Bordello in the soundtrack was really fucking annoying.... 5/10
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #5: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 05/05/2008, 07:34 PM
Those Gogol Bordello songs kept inching a persisted hand up my skirt despite my efforts to slap it away.
bluemeanie #6: bluemeanie - added 05/06/2008, 01:12 PM
In agreement here. I expected so much more. They could have really delivered on what was a very interesting and very original premise. They did not. There were a few moments of delight. Otherwise, a turgid 4/10 from me.
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