‘Wristcutters: A Love Story’ Inventively Imparts Life’s Story After Death

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Average: 4.9 (18 votes)

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – The vision of life after death varies between the religious and the non-religious, the optimists and the pessimists and the believers and non-believers. There are few after-life stories, though, as unique and humorous as the one in “Wristcutters: A Love Story”.

Patrick Fugit in Wristcutters: A Love Story
Patrick Fugit in “Wristcutters: A Love Story”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

The story takes place in an environment populated solely by those who have committed suicide. It is described as being “almost completely the same only slightly worse”.

The film follows Zia (Patrick Fugit from “White Oleander” and “Almost Famous”). He recently killed himself and is trying to navigate his new reality. While at a bar, he befriends Eugene (Shea Whigham). He’s a Russian rocker who kills himself too but at his own show.

Zia learns his girlfriend also killed herself a few months after him. They set out on a journey to find her. Along the way, they meet up with Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon). She’s on her own journey to find the “people in charge” to plead her case that she’s there by mistake.

Shannyn Sossamon in Wristcutters: A Love Story
Shannyn Sossamon in “Wristcutters: A Love Story”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

The film is saturated with religious symbolism. One can get bogged down in trying to decode the meaning of every character and every situation while losing the greater, more meaningful message of the film.

Even though the movie is inherently dark and morbid, the feeling and sense that director Goran Dukic puts forth is all about humor, love and friendship.

While “Wristcutters: A Love Story” is an exceptionally comical movie, the laughs are dialogue driven and sometimes hard to spot. If you do, consider yourself lucky that you got the joke while the other people in the theater probably didn’t.

John Hawkes in Wristcutters: A Love Story
John Hawkes in “Wristcutters: A Love Story”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

Dukic made the bold choice to shoot most of the film on 16-millimeter stock. This gives the viewer the sense that the world you’re peering into is mostly the same as ours. Staying with the theme, though, it’s slightly worse.

The strongest part of this film is the acting and Fugit especially shows true talent.

Even though he’s dealing with dark issues, his timing and humor shine all throughout the film. Sossamon, who was brilliantly cast in this role, reminds me of a younger Helen Bonham Carter. Her deadpan (pardon the pun) delivery was spot on.

Patrick Fugit in Wristcutters: A Love Story
Shannyn Sossamon and Patrick Fugit in “Wristcutters: A Love Story”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

Even though some of the scenes drag on and the film could have been 20 minutes shorter, all in all “Wristcutters: A Love Story” is a beautifully told story of love and redemption set in a world we can all relate to today.

“Wristcutters: A Love Story” opened in Chicago on Friday at AMC River East 21, Kerasotes Webster Place and Goodrich Savoy 16.

By Evan O’Donnell
Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com

© 2007 Evan O’Donnell, HollywoodChicago.com

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