4 April 2003 | wencer
What's the deal with James Spader? Why does he always end up playing the incompetent boob with weird sexual fetishes?
This superbly cast film is well-written and well-directed. The thing is, it doesn't really have any zingers, any defining moments. The talented James Spader (Crash) and Lara Flynn Boyle (The Practice) are two therapists that get emotionally involved with a troubled couple, the talented Melora Walters (Being John Malkovich) and a very down-to-earth Jay Mohr (SNL). Spader is particularly gifted through his mannerisms and uncomfortable demeanor, although Walters' performance as a simple and emotionally confused woman is equally amusing. As things between characters get complicated, the director does an excellent job of keeping the pacing going; the film never really loses momentum. The writing is based mostly on the situation, yet a couple of twists and subtleties really keep the viewer enguaged. Especially brilliant is Bill Murrary (Groundhog Day) who steals scenes from Phil LaMarr (MAD TV) and Catherine O'Hara (SCTV) with his exaggerated delivery. Furthermore, the director uses several manic cuts and tricks to keep the images fresh. The only real sore points stem from the fact that there isn't much TO the movie. It's hard to find an emotional connection with any one character, such that by the end, you're more interested in seeing what will happen as opposed to hoping for happy fates. Furthermore, the script's humour is mostly character-based; there aren't really any lines that bowl you over or stick in your head. But the dialogue is well-scripted and well-delivered. This movie isn't really a romantic comedy; but a piece of good entertainment for several demographics. It's got a Snatch feel with a Zoolander comedic touch. Great entertainment for an afternoon and a definite renter if you want to laugh a bit. James Spader forever.