Wonder Boys Reviews
Michael Douglas is great and brought a lot of heart to the film. I love his character arc and he adds nuance to the performance that allows you to see more is going on beneath the surface. Robert Downey Jr. is one of my favorite actors and his lighthearted performance is a great counterpoint to Douglas' more serious tone. I could always count on some of the biggest laughs when he walked into a scene. On the flip side Tobey Maguire is one of my least favorite actors. He doesn't do anything to hurt Wonder Boys, but I can't help thinking a better actor would have made it an even better movie.
Ordinarily I'm not the biggest fan of voiceover, and this one was particularly off-putting in the beginning because Michael Douglas literally talked over characters in the film with his narration. Luckily the voiceover stopped for large chunks of the film and wasn't so aggressive when it occurred later. I had a lot of fun with the plot of Wonder Boys. Even though there wasn't exactly a lot going on and it seemed like the story kept circling back to the same places, I still couldn't wait to see what would happen next. It's a heartfelt story with multiple characters all trying to find their way.
I had such a strong connection with Douglas' character that I genuinely cared about what happened to him. That kind of emotional link to the characters is my number one priority out of most movies I see. I do see flaws in Wonder Boys, though. There are some sub-plots that don't amount to much and have no reason to exist in the film. Katie Holmes was a good example of this, a character with virtually no purpose in the film. There also were a few conversations that seemed a bit forced. I wondered "do people ever actually talk like this?" But I forgave a lot of flaws in Wonder Boys, because it told an effective story with characters I liked and that's what I wanted.