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USA 2004
Directed by
Paul McGuigan
114 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Cynthia Karena
1 stars

Wicker Park

Synopsis: Advertising executive Matthew (Josh Hartnett) is indifferent about his impending marriage. Just as he is about to go on a business trip, he sights an old girlfriend, Lisa (Diane Kruger) - the love of his life who disappeared two years ago. He puts off the business trip and the fiancée while he tries to hunt down the ex. He finds clues, he finds another woman (Rose Byrne), he finds an old mate (Matthew Lillard), but does he find his true love?

As they say, tell it to someone who cares. In this supposed thriller Matthew's flashbacks give us the history of the relationship, clues as to why the true love couple aren't together, and eventually reveal the context of mystery girl but there is nothing driving the pursuit, the clues are somehow boring and don't inspire you to want to get to the bottom of anything, and many of the plot threads go nowhere.

Wicker Park is a remake of a French thriller, L'Appartement, a film I've not seen. Whatever the merits or otherwise of the original this is certainly wanting thrills. One might compare it to a amateur high school production but that's probably doing the latter a dis-service. The dialogue is puerile, and the coincidences too many and too heavy handed.

The acting is woeful. Hartnett's performance is wooden and emotionless. And you'd think people would've worked out that Kruger couldn't act from her dismal, self-conscious performance in this year's Troy There is one particularly painful scene where Kruger is supposed to look sexy in her dancing class with Hartnett looking from the sidelines all dewy eyed. This is a good time to walk out. It doesn't get any better, even if Rose Byrne makes a good fist of it.

The love scenes between the leading lerv couple are downright embarrassing - not in a sparks fly, earth moves kind of way, but precisely because nothing flies or moves. The scenes are just played out by the numbers. The director could have at least said, "One more time with feeling".

This film appears to be about obsession, but the bones that could have been fleshed out and made for a more interesting film, contained in a statement towards the end - "Love makes you do crazy things" - was ignored, indicating an opportunity lost. Too much time is spent on establishing that the leading couple are truly, madly, deeply in love, and not enough exploring the underbelly of human relations.




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