Wristcutters – A Love Story (2006)


Your basic indie romantic comedy. Except everyone’s dead.

Depressed over his breakup with girlfriend Desiree (Leslie Bibb), Zia (Patrick Fugit) slits his wrists, only to find himself sent to a bleak corner of the afterlife reserved for those who kill themselves. When he learns that Desiree also commits suicide, he’s joined by a pair of fellow lost souls (Shannyn Sossamon and Shea Whigham) on a quest to find her and see if love and happiness can exist even in death.

Suicide is a pretty dark subject matter. Lots of people have done it, and lots of people are sensitive about it. So it is pretty hard to make a comedy out of it, but somehow this film does that well.

I liked the quirky, and witty screenplay that this film had. The plot looks ridiculous but it all seems to work out because you believe in this little weird, depressive world that all these dead people inhabit. There are numerous suicide jokes, but never any ones that are too offensive for some.

This film was more cute and sweet than anything, and that’s probably why I liked it the most. We really do get a sense of these people, and how their lives were, and what lead them to their ultimate suicide. And in the middle of all of this, we get a little cute romance, that actually blossoms in the end of the film.

My only problem with this film is that it does start to take a weird toll by the last 30 minutes with it. There is this fantasy side to the film that I never really understood, and I don’t think the film did either. The film has a lot of style as well which doesn’t work because I think the film tried too hard to rely on the look, rather than the story and the script, which ultimately lead to the film being very odd in tone by the end of the film.

The performances of this film are very light-hearted and bring a lot to this film. Patrick Fugit is good here as the lead, and never really seems to annoying which is always good. Shannyn Sossamon is also good as the sassy Mikal, who is always one step ahead of everyone. Shea Whigham is perfect as Eugene, bringing a lot of random comedy to his character, and a general likability that we couldn’t really find in a comedy like this. Others that were good were Tom Waits, John Hawkes, Will Arnett, and Leslie Bibb.

Consensus: Although it gains a randomly weird tonal shift half-way through, Wristcutters – A Love Story beneifits from the overall sweet tone, and good performances from the cast.

6/10=Rental!!

9 comments

  1. Such an underrated and overlooked film in my eyes – probably because of its subject matter – so good to find other people who’ve seen it! I think the soundtrack itself deserves a special mention – works so well to set the mood of the film without being too try hard pretentious…

  2. I remember really wanting to see this movie after watching the trailer. I think someone I knew saw it and told me it was “a movie you’d dig”. I like the concept but to be honest it falls apart within the first ten minutes and never comes back together, for me, in a meaningful way. This would fall into the category of what I call — Concept over Content — a problem many, many films fall victim to these days.

    I agree the topic of suicide is a challenging one and that style seems to get in the way at times. It’s been a while since I watched it so I’d probably have to sit through another viewing to write more — which probably isn’t going to happen. I always enjoy seeing Tom Waites and am curious why he doesn’t work more. Did you see him in Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Gary Oldman? A hoot.

    cheers->

  3. Great review. Quite a better review than mine was. After stepping back, I came to the realization that this film was as good as I made it out to be, just alright. Maybe it’s my infatuation with Shannyn Sossamon. But as you said, by the last thirty minutes it does seem to take a toll on you.

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