'Wicker Park' Review: More Drama Than a Mexican Soap Opera
My next assigned film is Wicker Park. Made in 2004 by Paul McGuigan and starring Josh Hartnett before he started being in cool movies, Wicker Park is a remake of the 1996 French feature L'Appatement. It also has one of my favorite "those guy" actors, Matthew Lillard. The cast also includes Diane Kruger and Rose Byrne.
Hartnett, as Matthew, is a young businessman who moves to New York to work for his girlfriend's father's firm. However, he spots a woman who he thinks is the long lost love of his life, and his drive to find and protect her becomes an obsession that drives him to dramatic action. Of course, the fact that he first saw her on a customer's video camera at the store he worked at as a tech, at which point jhe started following her and became obsessed for the first time probably wasn't a great sign for their relationship to begin with. 12 minutes in to the film, Matthew is risking everything he has on the slim chance that he might be able to find the woman of his obsession.
The film has incredibly interesting design choices, which, as a student of film, appealed to me, and provided interesting visuals to accompany the story. Unfortunately for my opinions of the film, I'm not a huge fan of relational obsession. As a relatively logical and straight forward human, I can't seem to relate to the whole desire to see another person so much that you risk everything good in your life. The only real tension in the film came from my own personal expectation that there was something far more insidious going on than the simple story of a depressing obsessive. Eventually it becomes a depressing story of a paranoid obsessive and three other equally whackadoo characters that were all obsessing over each other and ruining each other's lives so, you know, not really my jam. It doesn't even build on the early introduction of a character that the others actually refer to as a stalker, one who is billed to seem ominous and dangerous. The whole build is simply a throw away lie by on of the crazies to manipulate another one.
Overall the movie is visually interesting, and worth study if you're trying to learn how to make eye popping camera movement and effects, but if you're looking for a thrilling movie full of characters that you can care about, then look up something else. Maybe that's a statement about myself, that I lack the capacity for true passion, but I couldn't connect with any of the people in the film, and found it to be less than entertaining.
Final Say: Skip It