The Shape Of Things (2002)
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Critic Reviews for The Shape Of Things
When the players themselves are conceived this superficially, LaBute winds up invalidating his own point.
There are barbs here to tickle anyone's paranoia, but the callousness isn't illustrative, just exploitative.
There's an immediacy to many scenes that's hard to deny. These people get under your skin and gnaw away.
The facial jewellery, Elvis Costello music and cell phones notwithstanding, you keep expecting these people to challenge each other to duels with rapiers at dawn.
In The Shape of Things, love doesn't just hurt: It bites, and bites deep.
With outstanding performances from Rudd and Weisz, this is an unsettling, provocative and nasty little gem.
Audience Reviews for The Shape Of Things
Neil LaBute completes a trilogy (unofficial, of course) of films about how men and women act and treat each other. "The Shape of Things" (adapted from his stage play like his other two features, the memorable "In the Company of Men" and the dicey "Your Friends & Neighbors") is another scathing and insightful look into relationships. While you will never meet anyone like the people in this or his other films, you will recognize bits and pieces of everyone in each. The dialogue is complex and full and the performances are committed and juicy. "The Shape of Things" marks the last good film LaBute has made (for whatever reason he moves on to goofy Hollywood thrillers like "The Wicker Man" and "Lakeview Terrace" and the embarrassing "Death at a Funeral" remake- one would think those films were from a totally different human all together; my bet is he became a drug addict because no one looses such talent so quickly) but this wonderful, tricky and rewarding series of films is well worth your serious time and attention. I think "The Shape of Things" is the easiest to digest, but when taken as a whole, you will never forget any of them.
A pretty well put together film. There's parts where the "awkwardness" of a lot of the scenes overtake the mood of the movie. I didn't feel as connected to the characters as I wanted to. Weisz and Rudd are both terrific, with a twist I saw coming from miles away. Still, worth watching if you like movies featuring good acting and a story that has an "indie" sort feel to it all.
The dialogue is uncomfortably recitative and I get the feeling LeBute is doing it on purpose. Which I don't understand because my insides feel EXTREMELY constricted. In general the concept of the thing is quite interesting but this was a really weird way to approach it. I feel like Paul Rudd was misdirected, or something. All that said, I really like Rachel Weisz's American accent. She should seriously talk like that all day.
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