Wristcutters: A Love Story
Emo Kids Rejoice: A Film about Suicide! -- 2 stars
Directed by Goran Dukic. November 2007, USA/UK. Rated R: 88 min.
(Originally published in buzz magazine on 11/11/2007)
Wristcutters begins with Zia (Patrick Fugit) cleaning his tiny apartment. The mopey twenty-something picks up his shirts. He vacuums the floor. He dusts the frame of a painting. He goes to his bathroom and looks in his mirror, gasps, falls. The camera tilts down to show a sink full of blood, then cuts to him dying on the bathroom floor. As he takes his last breath, a dustbunny stares him in the face—a sign of his failure to complete even the smallest of tasks.
Sounds like a depressing movie, right? Wrong! Wristcutters quickly becomes a romantic comedy. After he kills himself, Zia awakens in an alternate dimension filled with people who committed suicide. Then the corny jokes begin. Zia starts a job at Kamikaze Pizza, which he quits after finding out his ex-girlfriend killed herself a month after him. He hits the road with his quirky (and racist) Russian pal, Eugene, hoping to find her. Along the way, he meets Mikal, a hitchhiker seeking out the PIC (People in Charge) because her death by drug overdose shouldn’t count as a suicide. Together, they rumble through the desolate countryside in Eugene’s crappy car, maintaining optimism in a blue-tinted world where people literally can’t smile. Wristcutters’ original concept doesn’t make up for its wooden acting and dull humor. Worst of all is the film’s patch-job conclusion. Apparently, even indie films sometimes succumb to the allure of the Hollywood happy ending.