One of the first things askew with Sketch Artist is the complete mismatching of Fahey and Young. The casting agent must have been on drugs to think that the brittle Young and the jacked up Fahey could have chemistry. Their love scenes are uncomfortable and unbelievable. When they embrace passionately, Young is so passive and Fahey is so unhinged, the tendency would be to fear for Young's safety if, in fact, it would be possible to fear for a character who seems so soulless and vacant. The problem is, of course, that this interpretation does not follow the plot line since Young is the one who is clearly supposed to be in control.
Fahey's and Young's characters are alike in one way, however: both of them feel contrived. Young seems like she's just coasting on her remarkable looks. Fahey is a bundle of acting tricks: flinging his cigarettes angrily out of windows, throwing things on the floor in fits of angst and yelling (unconvincingly) angry things. When he's not throwing cigarettes, papers, or words, he's posing partially unclothed. Not that Fahey is a bad looking guy, but the presence of so many scenes--Fahey shirtless, partially shirtless, walking around in his underwear, or dressing--is pandering, and so annoying.
The plot was as unbelievable as the characters. There are multiple instances of the narrative not supporting the characters' actions, improbability (for example, another poster here pointed out that Fahey steals a car and never gets caught--even has a police car pass him without repercussion. He also breaks into multi-million dollar homes where there is, apparently, no security) and predictability. Drew Barrymore was wasted in a role that required her to stumble through an indifferent witness description and play dead (interesting that her armpits are notably unshaven. How quirky is that?).
On a positive note, there are some pleasant surprises. Fahey's car doesn't ever start so he's always bumming rides. There's a delightful (yet unfulfilling) scene where Jack questions a woman (Stacy Haiduk?) in her home and she shares her last can of beer with him by pouring part of it into a china cup.
Throughout this movie I kept thinking, "Someone is hoping to get a sequel out of this." I was right because three years later, the sequel to this squealer appeared--Sketch Artist 2: Hands That See.
All in all, not a horrible film, for a TV movie, but not a good one. It has a few redeeming moments and is enjoyable for the horrible clothing if nothing else.
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