Victor: What time do you get off?
Paige: You don't have to do that.
Paige: Try to have sex with me.
Victor: Oh yes, I really do.
A film adaptation of the novel by author Chuck Palahniuk, who also wrote Fight Club. Anyone familiar with Fight Club should at least have an idea of the type subject matter/characters that this film will deal with.
Victor: For sure, even the worst blow job is better than say, sniffing the best rose...watching the greatest sunset.
Sam Rockwell stars as Victor Mancini, a sex addict working at a colonial theme park as a historical interpreter. Victor dropped out of med-school in an effort to take care of his hospitalized mother Ida, played by Anjelica Houston, who is sick with dementia. The expenses of this have caused Victor to turn into a con man of sorts in an effort to cover the costs. By con man, I refer to Victor's scam of purposefully chocking on food in restaurants, causing a good Samaritan to save him and go on to send him money, due to their new found feelings of responsibility for his life.
Victor deals with his mother not remembering who he is, a nurse, played by Kelly McDonald, who offers her own various ideas to help out, his best friend, who is a chronic masturbater, and Victor's own dealings with his problems of achieving arousal with anyone but strangers.
The story also leaps back in time to Victor's young days with his mother, who, not being deemed fit to care for him, kidnapped Victor from foster parents to pull off scams of her own.
Paige: And this is where it kind of goes off the deep end.
A lot of the subject matter is dark just by description, but the film is very funny. It is dealt with in such a way that Victor is both a despicable person but also sympathetic in his own way. It also helps that the cast, especially Rockwell, who I always find to solid, fits very well into this film. I am a fan of Palahniuk's work and his style is definitely treated well and fitted in here.
Victor: All I had to do was answer one simple question: What would Jesus not do?
This movie is in fact even more faithful that Fight Club. The ending is tweaked a bit and of course all of the details cannot be pushed into a film like this, but the essence is there and it works well. Director Clark Gregg, who also adapted the screenplay and has a small role, is certainly fond of the material and did what he could to make this work as a film. He also went with choosing a number of good alternative tracks to fill the soundtrack.
There are some problems in bringing the film round in a full resolution (mostly due to the film's episodic structure), although I did enjoy the way it completed itself and the novel isn't perfect either. The film is still very enjoyable and wonderfully offbeat.
Victor: What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.