Wristcutters: A Love Story
Directed by Goran Dukic
Starring Patrick Fugit, Shannyn Sossamon, Shea Whigham
Review by Jordan
Love can make you want to die; make you feel like the only victim of overwhelming emotions in existence with no antidote for the inevitable broken heart. Love can be the driving force to keep living; the ebbs and flows, highs and lows of connecting with somebody you care deeply about, and the promise of future happiness. Love can be many things, and this sentiment is translated in a way unlike any other in Goran Dukic’s imminently original, inspired, heartfelt and bleak yet transcendentally optimistic comedy Wristcutters: A Love story.
When Zia’s (Patrick Fugit – Almost Famous) girlfriend Desiree (Leslie Bibb) breaks up with him, his answer is to slowly clean his flat and end his life alone in his bathroom; his final moments of life spent with his head to the floor watching his last breaths blow a lonely piece of fluff to the corner of the room. When he awakes he is in a Hell of sorts reserved for those that commit suicide, where everything is much the same but just that little bit worse… you can’t smile, every job sucks, there are no stars and if the headlights on your car don’t work, then they’re not getting fixed. It is here where he meets and befriends former talentless rocker Eugene (the terrific Shea Whigham) and the enigmatic, captivating and effervescently attractive Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon) and upon hearing that his beloved Desiree has recently killed herself in grief and now occupies this dystopia sets out with his motley crew to find her.
So, we have two guys, a single, uninterested yet mildly flirtatious girl and a roadtrip to find a lost love that we just know will end with our characters finding happiness and fulfillment in unexpected places… the perfect, predictable outline of yet another indie chick flick right? Well, in a way, yes, only Wristcutters: A Love Story also features floating miracle workers, a police officer with a permanent exit wound in his head, a black hole under the dash of a dead characters car, an R18+ rating toting suicide themes and a major performance from the legendary Tom Waits; as well as a trio of leads interesting enough to invest fully in. The skeleton of a predictable romantic drama/comedy is taken and remodeled fully fleshed and, ironically, full of life.
Some films are made for a preset, prepaid audience totally aware of what they’re about to be spoon-fed, and others stem from a creative mind and exist as a collective of tremendous ideas realized to near to full potential; these are pleasant surprises, cinephile’s favorites and sometimes they make the transition to the cult collective. Made with care, weaved delicately and boasting fully rounded narratives, these are films that deserve our attention and our kind words and this is what I present to you today: a wonderful movie about love, loss and hope, and featuring an ending somehow even more beautiful than I could have imagined.
Take this trip spawned from sadness, and exit with a warm smile on your face. I challenge you not to.
5 new pairs of sunglasses out of 5
Note: If you are of the strong impression the themes present in Wristcutters will offend you, despite my glowing praise it would be worthwhile to approach cautiously, as there are many shots of characters recently deceased in hard-hitting fashions and if you’re not willing to forgive a proposed insensitivity these could be unsettling.
- Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006) (boxofficeweekly.wordpress.com)
- Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006) (filmsandthings.wordpress.com)
- The Best Unconventional Love Stories in 21st Century Movies (screenrant.com)