Based on Augusten Burroughs' bestselling memoir.
Likeability; therein lies the rub. The real challenge is making offbeat characters you can connect with, who aren’t just weird for the sake of being weird. [cough] Napoleon Dynamite [/cough] And there wasn’t a single character in RUNNING WITH SCISSORS I particularly cared about. It’s not just that they behave strangely (Oh look, little Augusten is covering the dog in tin foil. How cute…), but they all treat each other like crap. Every five seconds there’s either a screaming match or someone says or does something random and inappropriate. By the time Brian Cox forced his family to stare at the bowel movement he just relinquished in the toilet, I decided A) I just wasn’t getting this movie or B) there wasn’t anything to get. Probably B.
RUNNING WITH SCISSORS does sport a quite a cast—Brian Cox, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow, an unbelievably hot Evan Rachel Wood—each of whom does well in their respective roles. It just doesn’t help that their roles require them to be annoying for the majority of their screentime, save for Baldwin, who, between THE DEPARTED and 30 Rock, seems to have found his calling in scene-stealing supporting roles. The standout though is Annette Bening, who plays Burroughs’ mentally unstable mother. Even though you want to slap the ever-loving smack out of her character, Bening’s performance is still pretty great. Her final scene packs a surprising emotional punch, although it’s not enough to salvage everything that came before it. If I want to see a bunch of loonies yell at each other, I’ll just turn on MTV.
Inside Outsiders (8:25): A featurette with the actors giving their thoughts on making the characters “human.” Annette Bening says she feels sympathy for her character, even though the movie doesn’t. Well, that doesn’t exactly do the audience any good, does it?
A Personal Memoir by Augusten Burroughs (5:56): The author/main character talks about adapting his life in to a book/movie and how he survived his childhood. If half of what happens in this movie is true, it’s a miracle Burroughs doesn’t just sit in the corner, sucking his thumb in the fetal position.
Creating the Cuckoos Nest (4:30): A quick piece on the production design and creating the atmosphere of insanity.
An assortment of Previews ranging from SPIDERMAN 3 to ADAPTATION.
Extra Tidbit: Joseph Cross, who plays Augusten Burroughs, is not the same actor who played Bobby Drake aka Iceman in the X-MEN movies. Even though he looks exactly like him.