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Wristcutters: A Love Story for the Clinically Depressed

It may be rather morbid, but there are a slew of rather smart flicks about the dark world of suicide. Heathers, the quintessential mean-girl movie, and The Virgin Suicides, arguably Sofia Coppola's strongest film, are two such examples. And while Wristcutters: A Love Story, is not as deliciously evil as Heathers nor as visually lush as The Virgin Suicides, it does join the rank of intelligent movies about this depressing topic.

The film follows Zia, played by Patrick Fugit, best known for his starring role in Almost Famous, a young man so distraught over a failed relationship, he decides to kill himself in the opening scene. This is such an impactful way to begin the film, not unlike the powerful first scenes of Carrie or Y Tu Mamá También. From there, the film follows Zia as he is transported to an odd version of hell that he shares solely with other suicide victims. It's a hell that is almost identical to the life he just left, just slightly worse. He works at a pizza joint, appropriately named Kamikaze, and spends his days with an ex-Russian rocker named Eugene. Sound depressing? It is! The movie isn't all bleak, to find out why

Leave it to the women of the film to add some luminance to this otherwise dark movie. Desiree, played by Popular alum Leslie Bibb, is the reason Zia committed suicide, and when he finds out that she too has ended her life, he goes on a road trip to find his long-lost love. It is here that Wristcutters transforms from a rather dull flick (powerful opening scene withstanding) into a modern day The Wizard of Oz.

Okay, I know what you're thinking, The Wizard of Oz, really? Obviously, this film is not an instant classic, but the storyline does take an Ozian turn when the two boys pick up hitchhiker Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon) who just wants to go home. And to do that she needs to meet the wizard, I mean, the man in charge. It is when the trio finally do meet the man in charge, hysterically portrayed by Arrested Development's Will Arnett, that Zia is reunited with Desiree. But, not surprisingly, he has already fallen for our Dorothy, Mikal. Dorothy or Desiree; Desiree or Dorothy? Decisions, decisions!

Tough choices aside, the love triangle was compelling to watch; but because the movie was so focused on absurd realism and did not have the visual punch of other absurdist films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or The Science of Sleep, I was left wanting more, perhaps the budget of a Michel Gondry film.

Photos courtesy of Autonomous Films

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trogdor09 trogdor09 8 years
good movie. it was no eternal sunshine, but it was still pretty awesome. [plus, i'm kind of a shannon sossamon fan] [Patrick Fugit's pretty cool too] [lol...i love the story of the crooked tree]
ddene5713 ddene5713 8 years
it wasn't hell. it was purgatory.
Babychloe Babychloe 8 years
I think I'll add it to my Netflix queue.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 8 years
this sounds really interesting, but i can't stand shannyn sossamon. maybe a rental...
ReverendZelda ReverendZelda 8 years
It has Tom Waits in it... I'll see it.
audreystar audreystar 8 years
while i appreciate filmmakers coming out with interesting plots in movies, i do not like that this filmmaker chose to send its character to hell after committing suicide. most suicides are poor souls who were innocent but had a mental problem (ie. depression, etc). and i choose to believe no one like that is sent to hell but are rather extensively healed on the other side. i have suicide in my family and i don't think i could handle thinking my loved one is spending eternity in hell. just my thoughts. sorry to bring everyone down.
fadedblue fadedblue 8 years
my good friend worked as an intern on the film and i was able to catch a preview screening of it at my school. i was pretty surprised at how much i did enjoy it. the morbidness of the topic aside (it would understandably offend some people), it was actually a really well-done, witty flick that had struck a good balance between the comedic, dramatic, and absurd. it definitely was not shot on a big movie budget, but for the money they had, i think they made a great film.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I don't think I'd watch this.
bellanatella bellanatella 8 years
I'd watch it.
ThePit ThePit 8 years
I loved this film. I hope it does well this weekend.
mrskrismendoza mrskrismendoza 8 years
I hate the title. It really offends me.
kikkoman kikkoman 8 years
Sounds interesting. The title is crazy though.
Phasekitty Phasekitty 8 years
Saw this movie at the AFI Fest last year and absolutely adored it. The production design was downright amazing- it was beautiful to look at. The acting was great and the story was just so original. I love quirky movies like this and I group this one with the likes of Garden State and Little Miss Sunshine. At least, that's what it was like a year ago- I hope they haven't changed anything since it was at the festival. I was so happy to see it finally get released. Either way, I'm definitely picking this one up when it hits DVD, it's been too long since I've seen it!
figurine figurine 8 years
I haven't heard about this movie until now, but I think it sounds positively interesting. Yay for Heathers and The Virgin Suicides! :D
Liz4aker Liz4aker 8 years
I never heard about this movie till I saw Across the Universe and it was in the previews. I'm not sure I'll go see this. Maybe I'll NetFlix it.
miss-britt miss-britt 8 years
i thought it was pretty good. I saw it last weekend. I went and saw it by myself and had no clue what this movie was going to be able so was a little confused for the first 15 minutes but i thought it was great and kind of witty. Love Shannon Sossamon. And how great was Will Arnett? Probably my favorite part of the film.
swwonder swwonder 8 years
Sounds intriguing.
emalove emalove 8 years
I'd definitely watch it, despite the subject/story line. I think depression and related issues have affected most people's lives in some way, whether it be personal or with a loved one. I LOVE Virgin Suicides and Heathers...I doubt this movie will compare to either, but I'd give it a shot.
boosh-bitch boosh-bitch 8 years
I saw this last week and thought it was really boring. There's absolutely no chemistry between Fugit and either of the women he is supposed to be interested in. The ending is ridiculous. When he kills himself at the beginning, it was to a Tom Waits song talking about the same form of suicide. When he actually dies, the lyrics playing are "forever dead". At another spot in the film, the lyrics talk about something being underground just as they show a car half buried in the ground. Borrrrring!
SassAndBide SassAndBide 8 years
when it goes out on dvd i mean ;) :innocent:
SassAndBide SassAndBide 8 years
meh. maybe i'll rent it.
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