Passion never dies
Wicker Park is set in New York, where our hero Matt (Josh Hartnett) has an apparently perfect life: a fabulous job that involves practically no actual work, his sister (Paré) who doesn't irritate him, great cheekbones and a girlfriend he intends to propose to after he returns from a cushy sounding business trip to Hong Kong. The fly in the ointment is that two years ago he was living in the Wicker Park district of Chicago and conducting a whirlwind romance with a dancer named Lisa (Kruger) who dumped him by failing to turn up at their special meeting place and hasn't been seen since. Until, that is, Matt thinks he sees her coming out of a café and decides to blow off his entire life in favour of going to look for her with the help of his best mate Luke (Lillard). They find some weird girl claiming to be Lisa instead (Rose Byrne). Confusingness ensues.
A remake of the wonderful L'Appartement (Gilles Mimouni, 1996), Wicker Park follows the recent trend established by the likes of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Butterfly Effect of confusing the audience for the first half hour, gradually making it clearer what's going on and then finally revealing the premise on which the whole story is based. It's the kind of film that invites people to discuss its deep intricacies, whilst their less astute friends (such as me) nod and try to look marginally more intelligent than the average piece of popcorn. Having said that, Wicker Park does carry off its flashbacks and narrative loops very well, leaving even people like me with a good idea of the plot by the end.
Very stylish and slick, Wicker Park is well worth a watch. Even if the normally lovely Hartnett does start to become a little creepy, the rest of the cast admirably hold the narrative together, and it is possible to understand the plot without your head exploding. Honest.
Screenings of this film:
|2004/2005 Spring Term – (35mm)|