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I Love Your Work (R)

Release Date: December 2nd, 2005 (NYC-Village East Cinemas) by THINKfilm.
The Cast: Giovanni Ribisi, Franka Potente, Joshua Jackson, Marisa Coughlan, Christina Ricci, Jared Harris, Jason Lee, Elvis Costello, Nicky Katt.
Directed by Adam Goldberg.

BASIC PREMISE: Gray Evans (Ribisi), a movie star, deals with the consequences of his fame including stalkers and his failed marriage with Mia (Potente).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The complex, convoluted plot starts off very promising as Gray Evans handles stardom relatively well until he reads a suspicious fan letter from John (Jackson) a crazy fan who works at a video store. Once Gray meets Jane (Coughlan), John’s wife, he feels immediately attracted to her because she reminds him of his ex-girlfriend (Ricci). Meanwhile, a creepy man (Lee) keeps on stalking him. As Gray becomes more and more paranoid, he hallucinates about his ex-girlfriend as if he were a drug addict. Giovanni Ribisi does his best to hold the film together with a very convincing and brave performance. Unfortunately, the radiant Franka Potente, who’s hard to forget since her performance in Run Lola Run , doesn’t have enough material here to really shine as Evan’s cold, workaholic wife. However, the plot relies too much on gimmicks and twists to surprise you rather than strong character development. In order for the plot twists to really work, you have to believe that these are real characters going through real situations not just for the sake of plot development. It would have been more engaging if there more scenes between Gray and his ex-girlfriend rather than a brief visions and flashbacks. I Love Your Work excels the most with its stylish cinematography which occasionally reflects the mental state of Gray. Writer-director Adam Goldberg does create a few tense moments with an interest twist in the third act, but it feels too contrived to be truly shocking.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Being a celebrity is not as easy as you would think. Gray goes through a gradual mental breakdown as he becomes more and more paranoid. Just when he thinks he’s on top of the world with all of his fame, he can’t handle all the pressure at the top. If only he were smart enough to see a psychologist or to spend more time with his wife instead of going downhill both mentally and physically.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Contrived, convoluted plot.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A provocative subject matter with stylish cinematography and a great performance by Ribisi, but there’s too much reliance on plot twists over character development which makes for a cold, gimmicky film without that special, down-to-earth “indie” quality.


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