Pretty Good Movie but I Was Disappointed the Director Did Not Acknowledge His Debt to "Time Out"
Of course, how could he. He obviously co-opted several aspects from that excellent movie, which was also based on the sensational French case of the self-described "doctor in the World Health Organization" who murdered his family and himself when finally unmasked as a fraud. Emilio refers to his son as "monster," he sings to the radio in his car, he hangs out on park benches, and he specializes in investment schemes to defraud his family and friends -- all of this and more directly lifted from "Time Out," which came out the year before "Nobody's Life." It's too bad because this movie is pretty good on its own, with good acting and writing. Whereas Vincent from "Time Out" is a much more subtle character who seems to have a sense of ethics even though at times it gets twisted into knots, the protagonist here seems devoid of any character at all save for his winning looks and charm. Seriously, the part where he used X-rays that show his mother-in-law's cancer to bilk more money from his father, then utilizes a subtle twist on the same scam to avoid eviction from his fancy home for failing to pay the lease on time -- it's almost too much. The guy has no shame whatsoever, In fact, he's more like the lead in "Stepfather" than some poor schmuck who gets fired and is so humiliated that he can't face the disappointment of his family and friends and feels forced to invent a shiny new life for himself, as Vincent did in "Time Out." Thus, one could feel the tension mounting in "Nobody's Life" and the violent conclusion coming. One thing "Nobody's Life" has that "Time Out" definitely lacked was a love interest apart from the protagonist's trusting wife. It's not hard to understand how the sexy babysitter was able to fascinate and ensnare Emile to the degree that he ignored the danger of her natural curiosity and allowed it to lay bare his less than carefully constructed con. Given the reservations mentioned, this is a pretty good movie that we found entertaining. If you long for something touching on similar elements that goes a might deeper and is more intellectually and spiritually satisfying, I strongly suggest "Time Out."
- Jan 31, 2010
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