Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men ((2009))
Grad student Sara Quinn (Julianne Nicholson) is perplexed by her endless string of romantic failures. Combining work on an anthropological dissertation with her quest for personal answers, Sara interviews an array of men, whose confessions range from banal to bizarre. Actor John Krasinski makes his directorial debut with this quirky comedy based on a collection of short stories by David Foster Wallace.
Interesting point-of-view flick, though it is definitely mislabeled as a romantic comedy. The summary doesn't explain what it's like at all. I thought, by reading the summary, that this would be a light-hearted and possibly cynical commentary about the whole dating/relationship scene, when what you get in reality is a rather depressing slice of Sara's life. A more accurate summary is that Sara is jilted by one man, which makes her feel quite bitter towards males in general. I'm not sure the film stated her original dissertation topic, but I would assume the whole thing was less about her dissertation and more about her trying to find answers for why this guy did this to her. She's a desperate woman who starts out interviewing men who seem ridiculous, but as the film progresses, you start to hear more intriguing stories, and the men become more like characters than caricatures. A student of Sara's provides some critical insight into how even bad things that happen to people can bring light, if you let them. Ultimately, I think this is what lets Sara move on; the really critical monologue belongs to the student, not to John Krasinski at all. Anyway, mislabeled in category, because it was more sad than funny, but interesting. I can't say I highly recommend it, but it was thought-provoking, and the man who talks about his father being the bathroom attendant? That guy was awesome. Great speech, great delivery. He was the best part, and he was only in it for 5 minutes.
In the beginning, this movie is sorta hard to follow, because it jumps from story to story so rapidly. But, that is done so that you get the idea and the background behind every interview and during this, you see the two main characters start to develop. I admit that I didn't follow the beginning very well, but pieces started to fall into place as the movie progressed.