I Love Your Work (2005)
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Review Date: November 25, 2005
Director: Adam Goldberg
Writer: Adam Goldberg, Adrian Butchart
Producers: Adam Goldberg, Chris Hanley, David Hillary
Giovanni Ribisi as Gray
Franka Potente as Mia
Joshua Jackson as John
A big-time movie star gets paranoid about his fans, and in particular, a couple of guys who seem to be running into him a lot of late. Hiring a private detective and speaking to his actress-wife about it, doesn’t seem to change much, as the star continues to suspect folks brandying about him. Ultimately, you see the man himself start to degrade, as he thinks back to his own life before becoming a star, and even befriends one of his fans! But what does it all mean? Is it real or is it fantasy? Is he nuts or just your average day movie star? An actor’s life…ensues.
Adam Goldberg…I’m impressed! I honestly thought this movie was going to be a self-indulgent little indie project created by “actor Adam Goldberg” and a bunch of his well-known Hollywood buddies, but about half an hour into this thing, I realized that the film was actually pretty damn good, with solid acting by Giovanni Ribisi leading the way, an eclectic 70’s aesthetic to the directing, a fun, soothing soundtrack mixing the film’s dour moods with its fantasy elements, and ultimately, an engaging, if quite dark, character study of a man (who just so happens to be a famous movie star), well…losing his mind! And without giving much away, it’s interesting to see a movie that focuses on a lead character who, by all intents and purposes, should have his shit together, but who slowly but surely, becomes more and more paranoid, as his fans and his own sociological fantasies, become a part of the same obsessive concoction in his mind. If you’re a fan of straight-forward movies, this likely won’t give you a buzz though, as David Lynch’s name popped into my head every now and again. That’s not to say that the film is terribly confusing, because it’s not, but it is highly stylized and it does ask the viewer to attempt to put together the pieces of a seemingly frazzled man’s mind. Also, if you’re someone who doesn’t appreciate the method by which actor Ribisi strums his acting strings, you might want to kill yourself after this movie, as he’s at his Ribisi-est here, mumbling a lot, looking sick and dejected, and going all out in depression, as the film moves forward. Despite being written by a “comedic actor”, this picture doesn’t contain a lot of jokes, and actually goes right for the jugular during its end sequence, which won’t leave many “happy ending fans” as satisfied customers when all is said and done.

I personally enjoyed most of the film, but thought it did get a little redundant and self-indulgent at times (it could easily have been cut by about 10-15 minutes) and didn’t much care for the ending either, and not because it was “dark”, but simply because it didn’t seem to truly gel with the rest of the movie. It felt like it was written to “shock” as opposed to completing the story. Then again, it’s the kind of movie that would likely be appreciated more after repeat viewings, so who knows…maybe I’ll eat my words one day. I also think the lead actress, Franka Potente, wasn’t all that good, and almost felt like she was reading her lines at times. A more charismatic actress would have been appreciated. That said, everyone else came to play, including Joshua Jackson who surprised as a great character, as well as the meaty Christina Ricci (and that’s how we loved ya, babe…your most recent “stick look” isn’t working for you), the beautiful Marisa Coughlan and the fun cameos by people like Vince Vaughn and an almost unrecognizable Jason Lee. The film touches on a variety of movies from the past and sometimes felt like a mix between TAXI DRIVER, REAR WINDOW and PAPARAZZI, but ultimately did create a dark little niche of its own, with stylish directing, a great soundtrack, an interesting premise and enough solid acting performances to warrant a watch with your better half (just make sure she doesn’t fall in love with the lead and ultimately leave you for him—that’s a “joke” you’ll truly appreciate after having seen the movie). Kudos to Adam Goldberg though…color me impressed, Mr. Man.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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