Tag Archives: Will Arnett

Wristcutters: A Love Story (2007)

Alright. So I’m starting to get a bit sick of writing and reading about the same movies all the time – especially when we’re talking about current movies. Yes, There Will Be Blood and The Dark Knight are amazing movies. But to make things a little more interesting, I’ve decided to start reviewing less well-known movies. Here’s my review for the 2007 indie film, Wristcutters: A Love Story.

Wristcutters: A Love Story examines the idea of purgatory for those who have attempted suicide. After slashing his wrists, Zia (Patrick Fugit) finds himself in a place that is much like earth, but merely a little more bleak and depressing. In the afterlife, he meets up with a self-destructive musician, and a girl, Mikal, who claims she is there by mistake. When Zia hears that his ex-girlfriend has also killed herself, the trio goes on a road trip in hopes of finding her. When they stumble across a mystical campsite run by a thespian (Tom Waits), things in the movie really take a turn for the weirder. Will Arnett even pops up in a really bizarre (and wildly miscast) role before the film finally finds a way to come to a satisfying conclusion.

Wristcutters is a thought-provoking, interesting film, but it suffers a bit from the odd, plot-heavy second half. I feel that the human interest slant of the film’s beginning was its stronger suit. One of the best scenes of the film takes place when Zia goes to dinner at his musician friend’s house, and discovers that his friend’s mother, father, and younger brother have also “offed” themselves, and they are all now living as a (sort of) happy family in this semi-Hell. This kind of black humour runs rampant through the entire film, and many scenes are genuinely funny. The aforementioned “love story” aspect is also very cute, and helps to lighten up the slightly cumbersome second half.

Though Patrick Fugit plays a character that is similar to his work in Almost Famous, I think Fugit does a great job here. Zia is very likeable, but also a bit of a sap, and Fugit probably plays a loveable fish-out-of-water better than any other actor his age. His wry delivery suits the film’s black humour, and I have to give Fugit a lot of credit for making grim subject matter unexpectedly fun. Strong supporting performances make the absurd story seem believable, as does the beautiful cinematography. The shots of the stark, depressing “American” landscape manage to be off-putting and beautiful at the same time.

The film itself is rather contradictory, and it seems like that’s its purpose. Suicide is shown in a very vivid way (we see exactly how many of the characters wound up in purgatory), yet the whole thing seems a little bit humorous, and almost beautiful. That’s not to say that the film glorifies suicide, but it takes a stance on it that’s both light-hearted and bleak, and manages to pull it off. The storyline about cult-ish religious fanaticism has been done to death (no pun intended), so that aspect seems less fresh, despite the fact that the film is examining it from the other side of the mortality line.

Wristcutters is not a perfect film, but it has so many positive attributes that a dud character here or there (sorry, Will Arnett. You’re still awesome.) and a bit of plot trouble doesn’t hold it back too much. The film’s really unique feel, along with great performances, make Wristcutters a must-see for anyone who enjoys offbeat movies, or who is just sick of the blandness that Hollywood usually offers up.

8/10

10 People Who Need to Host Saturday Night Live

 

It was recently announced that Megan Fox will be the host for the premiere of the 35th season of Saturday Night Live, which will air on September 26. At first, I hated this choice, mainly because I can’t stand Megan Fox. Then I began to see that Fox has the potential to succeed as a host. If she actually goes for it, and doesn’t worry about looking stupid and doesn’t mind poking fun at herself, they could probably get some funny material out of her. And (despite her questionable level of skill) she is an actor. Actors almost always do a better hosting job than politicians, musician, or athletes (though there is at least one exception with Peyton Manning, who was probably one of the best hosts of recent SNL history), since that’s what they do. You can’t expect to send Michael Phelps in there and automatically get comedic gold. But even if Fox does a decent job hosting, it’s still a pretty safe, predictable choice on SNL’s part. They know that most people tuning in won’t even care if Fox is funny. Does anyone ever watch anything involving Megan Fox to admire her talent? So I began to think about people who I think would be edgier, funnier hosts. Last season, the show’s more successful hosts were the oddball, unexpected choices, like Jon Hamm, John Malkovich, and Neil Patrick Harris. So here are ten people who have never hosted Saturday Night Live (to the best of my knowledge), and who I think could do a great job with it.

 

1. Zach Galifianakis

His comedy style is incredibly offbeat, but I think it would be a refreshing change for a show where the biggest problem is stale writing. In my opinion, there are two kinds of hosting styles for SNL. Some hosts try to compliment the comedy of the show, and if they’re successful (think Anne Hathaway or Zach’s Hangover co-star, Bradley Cooper), they almost seem like they could be one of the cast members. But other hosts are larger than life and steal every skit that they’re in, even if they’re the straight-man. Galifianakis could be the next Christopher Walken.

 

2. Will Arnett

He’s married to the show’s most beloved recent alumnus, and he was on the already-classic Arrested Development. So why hasn’t Will Arnett hosted? He could definitely be another scene-stealer, and I could see him playing off of the rest of the cast really well. After all, he’s already done movies with most of the shows’ cast members (Hot Rod, The Brothers Solomon, The Rocker), so I think his humour would fit in well.

 

3. Anderson Cooper

So this probably seems like a weird choice for the #3 slot, but if you’ve ever seen CNN’s “Silver Fox” interviewed outside of the newsroom, you know that he’s a pretty quick guy. Brian Williams did quite a respectable hosting job a couple of years ago, and I think that Cooper could follow suit.

 

4. Zooey Deschannel

Everyone loves Zooey, and I think that her sunny, laid-back charm would do wonders on the show. She’s got a quirky kind of vibe about her, which be a change from the usual starlets that they have on the show.

 

5. Demetri Martin

Another stand-up comedian turned actor who has a quirky style about him. He’s very youthful, and I think he would work well with the rest of the cast. His oddball humour seems kind of similar to the work that the Lonely Island team is doing, so I think that he would be a great match.

 

6. Ryan Reynolds

He seems to be more along the lines of the hosts that SNL usually gets, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him hosting the show (though we might have to wait until The Green Lantern movie comes out). He’s really funny, and even in some of the so-so movies he’s been in, his charisma still shines. I think he would be a lively choice.

 

7. Joel McHale

The hilarious host of The Soup already incorporates some sketch comedy into his show, so I think he would adapt easily to SNL‘s format. He’s got a new series coming this fall (Community), and will be in the new Soderbergh flick (The Informant!) so now we just need him to bring some of his talent and wit to this venue.

 

8. Jason Segal

Almost every other big name from the Apatow clan has hosted, so I think it’s probably a matter of time until Jason Segal does, too. He’s a very funny guy, and has that “everyman” quality, which can be very funny. I think he’d be willing to do just about anything on the show.

 

9. BJ Novak

Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson have both successfully hosted the show, and I think that it’s about time that another Office cast member tries their hand. John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer would probably both be fine choices, but my pick is actually for BJ “Ryan the Temp” Novak. He’s seems like a cool guy, and he always has awesome reactions to wacky situations.

 

10. Amy Ryan

Okay, so she’s also on The Office, but I think that Amy Ryan would be great, too. Of course, she’s primarily a serious actor, but she’s just so charming as Steve Carell’s love interest, Holly. She’s quirky, but I think she’d also fit in with the style of the show.

 

So there you have it. Disagree with any of my choices? Have any of your own to add? Feel free to leave a comment!