Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Shape of Things (2003)

Director: Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men)

I once saw the tail end of Your Friends and Neighbors on the Independent Film Channel and was immediately smitten and thought to myself that I must look deeper into the other stuff that Neil LaBute has done. I had neglected that oath until about 4 AM one night when this movie came on. LaBute is a natural playwright and it shows- this movie would have worked even better as a play (indeed it was a play in 2001 starring Paul Rudd and Rachel Weisz). Is it ok to say that dialogue seems overly dramatic, in a drama?

I did really like this movie. It has all the component elements of the indie drama you stumble into late at night- dialogue full of swear words, attractive people, and lives that seem just normal enough to draw you into the fold. The plot is relatively simple- Rudd plays a bookish slightly overweight museum security guard who bumps into Weisz one day and she takes a shining to him. Slowly he sheds his geeky clothes, the extra pounds, and his nerdy glasses in favor of a nifty Gap ensemble, svelte abs, and nice contacts.

The other couple in the movie played effectively by Gretchen Mol and Fred Weller have issues of their own- Mol lusts for Rudd and eventually they have an affair which disrupts her and Fred's engagement. The end of this movie is a not entirely unpredictable turn of events but worth seeing for how LaBute has grandly staged it- of course he is a playwright. I solidly reccomend this movie, and am endeavoring to next see In the Company of Men.


Blogger Omri noted on 2/24/2006 03:32:00 AM that...

"It has all the component elements of the indie drama you stumble into late at night"... indie dramas? That's what we're calling them now?