Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sundance '09: Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men falls under the exact same category as The Informers. A great book by a cult novelist (recently deceased David Foster Wallace), that fails when adapted to the screen.

This film is men speaking badly. Several different characters explain to a female graduate student (Julianne Nicholson) the nastiest little details about their sex lives. Some stories are amusing, but rarely heartfelt.

I feel like this film was just a way for first time director John Krasinski (Jim on The Office) to highlight his acting talent. He gets the second biggest role of the film which includes the longest of several breathy monologues from every character. Krasinski doesn’t pull it off. He delivers the lines of the speech in the same note, never cracking his voice, never sympathetic, never angry. It’s a problem when a character needs to be choked up and sympathetic and angry but the actor can’t get there.

As for his directing, Krasinski doesn’t do much better. His editing is ridiculously hard to follow, not to mention choppy and distracting. I would’ve liked to see each character deliver their monologues in one take, without cutting back and forth, infusing one guy’s story with another.

“Brief Interviews with Hideous Men” is an almost inadaptable book, but I’ll give it to Krasinski for trying. He means well, and hopefully his next one will be better. D

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