Posted on 12/26/12 11:42 PM
The more you dig, the more you find...Interviewer beware...
"Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" is a daring film by director John Krasinski. The film is based on a short story collection of the same name by David Foster Wallace. This is a thought-provoking melodrama which explores life, sex, and gender largely from a male perspective. It's screenplay is refreshingly smart, sharp, and honest.
"Brief Interviews With Hideous Men" is told mostly through the monologue format which transforms the film into a character study of uniquely opinionated individuals. The actors are all fun to watch and they perform well with material that is occasionally brilliant. Unfortunately, some of their dialogue runs thick and is noticeably pretentious. However, their dialogue contains many moments of dry humor and touches on many familiar subjects.
Julianne Nicholson stars as Sara Quinn, a grad student who interviews a large number of men as part of a social experiment. Her "subjects" aren't "hideous" as the movie title suggests, but are surprisingly raw and open to her questions as she explores their psyches. Quinn's resolve to continue her experiments wane as they coincidentally influence her personal life. It's worth noting that Quinn isn't without her own personal baggage; she is involved in tumultuous relationships with a few of her subjects. Specifically, Ryan is romantically involved with Quinn and is found to be harboring some disturbing feelings about the nature of love and their relationship. He delivers the film's closing monologue which deals with some rather heavy subject material. Ryan is played superbly by the director. He may prove to have some dramatic acting potential outside of his comedic comfort zones. There is no doubt that he has some exceptional skills as a director.
Another noteworthy performance is by veteran actor Frankie Faison, who plays the son of a dedicated bathroom attendant. He recounts his father's experiences in the film's most powerful and effective monologue. Here, we witness the nature of men as it pertains to their bathroom behavior. Through this examination we are easily reminded of the imperfections of humanity, most notably, our vanity.
I enjoyed the many ideas this film brought to the forefront. Our society has become increasingly opinionated and our philosophies are ever-changing. We need more films like this which produce ideas and stoke more intelligent thoughts.