Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

2009

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Critics Consensus

Ambitious but uneven, John Krasinski's adaptation of David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men tries hard but doesn't match the depth of the book.

41%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 39

32%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,078
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Movie Info

Adapted from the book by David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men tells the story of Sara Quinn, a graduate student in anthropology who's left feeling lost after her boyfriend breaks up with her and offers little explanation as to why. With her dissertation looming, Sara begins a project to interview men, all sorts of men, trying to unearth the mystery of their bizarre behavior. As her personal life and her academic life continue to mingle, Sara uncovers some strange and disturbing things about the male perspective, but nothing could be quite as strange as what she learns about herself.

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Cast

Ben Shenkman
as Subject #14
Timothy Hutton
as Prof. Adams/Subject #30
Michael Cerveris
as Subject #15
Corey Stoll
as Subject #51
Chris Messina
as Subject #19
Max Minghella
as Kevin/Subject #28
Lou Taylor Pucci
as Evan/Subject #28
Will Arnett
as Subject #11
John Krasinski
as Ryan/Subject #20
Will Forte
as Subject #72
Joey Slotnick
as Tad/Subject #59
Clarke Peters
as Subject #31
Dominic Cooper
as Daniel/Subject #46
Benjamin Gibbard
as Harry/Subject #20
Bobby Cannavale
as Subject #40
Christopher Meloni
as R/Subject # 3
Denis O'Hare
as A/Subject # 3
Josh Charles
as Subject # 2
Frankie Faison
as Subject #42
Malcolm Goodwin
as Father of Subject #42
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Critic Reviews for Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (15)

Audience Reviews for Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

  • Nov 27, 2011
    A woman interviews men about their relationships with women and feminism. Throughout most of the first act of <i>Brief Interviews with Hideous Men</I> I had no idea where it was going, and worse, I didn't care. Julianne Nicholson acted like Julianne Nicholson usually does - awkward and lost, drawn to expectation and thwarted by disappointment. And the stories in the first act were banal in the way one might expect - creepy in some cases, but overall, not extraordinary. Then, at the beginning of what should have been the second act (this film's structure is strange because it seemed like they skipped act two), there is a story about a man whose father worked as a bathroom attendant to support his family. John Krasinski's direction allows the older son to confront his younger father about his sacrifices, and the result is touching and compelling. The film takes off from there, the stories getting more and more interesting and the protagonist's goal more and more clear. Krasinski's final monologue proves him to be a strong dramatic actor. However, I did think that the dialogue, much of which must have been copied out of David Foster Wallace's book, seemed like it was written by an actor who wanted the opportunity to read what he read in public, not the result of a conscious dramatic choice. Overall, I liked the last half of this film even though it's a true "actors movie."
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2011
    In "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men," Sara(Julianne Nicholson), a graduate student, interviews various men about their sex lives for her thesis, even secretly taping a couple of them(Christopher Meloni & Denis O'Hare) talking about sexually harassing a woman(Lorri Bagley) at an airport. And that's kind of the level of discourse she has to listen to, day in and day out. Added to that, as a woman, she is expected to be in a relationship with a man, hopefully not like her subjects but maybe like the one(Will Arnett) who is locked out of his apartment.(Or to take a more extreme example: In an early episode of "Homicide: Life on the Streets," Detective Kay Howard(Melissa Leo) confides to a therapist about her conflicting feelings about men, after, as a homicide detective, seeing the worst they have to offer.) Newly single, people comment on Sara's wardrobe and her haircut and her professor(Timothy Hutton) suggests she should be more sociable. As intriguing as this might sound and despite incredibly and inventively realizing the cinematic potential in such material, the movie sadly never quite goes beyond the conceptual level. And I think a lot of that has to do with never hearing Sara's questions to hear what she is so curious about, so she sadly remains little more than a cipher. Like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy" points out, sometimes the questions are just as important as the answers.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2010
    It's quite simple really: I love it when a play is adapted to screen and maintains its stage-intended qualities. I usually loathe a multiplot; they are just too simple a trick. But in this this instance, it's not just a gimmick to garner awards, it's a conscious decision that creates the disjointed nature of the overall piece. In other words, the multiplot approach serves this film and its themes very well. I can see many loathing it and viewing it as a waste of time, but I was reeled into these confessions and these candid stories these men tell. Really, there is no central story, and the "main character" is utterly flat and ultimately unlikable, but I really did not care because I was too entranced by the language and its delivery.
    _kelly . Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2010
    I'm glad I watched this. I don't know if I'll watch it again, but neither of us was ready to erase it from the DVR once we finished it. It gave me plenty to think about. David Foster Wallace is similar to Thomas Pynchon in many respects, and I think it was this quality that kept my attention. Like Pynchon, the film is hyper attentive to very small bits of information in a way that is by turns exhausting, frustrating, intense or hilarious. It's never boring, but it does have a element of tedium, much like some of Pynchon's work. I'm still not sure what to make of this film.
    Morris N Super Reviewer

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