I saw this excellent movie last night, thanks to some guy handing out free promo tickets in Union Square. I’d read some online reviews pointing out this movie’s flaws, and didn’t plan to see it even if it was still in theaters when I got paid. Those flaws included: loosely resolved plot points, an unexplained cosmology of the afterlife, and a main character with some initially unexplained motives.
Shows you what I know. All those flaws are true of the movie, but none of them matter. This was a great film; by turns funny, mysterious, absurd, poignant, romantic – but mostly just real. The metaphysics, while largely unexplained, are just present enough to frame the story in a pleasingly aesthetic and quirky way. Did I mention Tom Waits and Will Arnett are in it, as great side characters? With such heady company, I’m impressed that Patrick Fugit and Shannyn Sossamon still stand out and don’t get lost as the main characters. I’ve noticed them in previous roles, and Patrick especially, but for some reason this was the movie that makes me really conscious of them and look forward to whatever they’re in next. I can’t close without mentioning Shea Whigham, who was great as the currently trendy world-weary Eastern-European buddy-of-the-main-character. I haven’t seen him in anything before, but I’ll look out for his next project too.
Basically, just go see it. I mean, come on, Tom Waits!