Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)
Rated – R
Directed by Goran Dukic
Starring: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Shannyn Sossamon
Here’s a sweet and unique film about life after death. What looks like it was shot with zero budget, Wristcutters takes a glance at the afterlife for those who commit suicide. What is it? It’s pretty much like the world we’re living now, except everyone is miserable. I guess those who off themselves certainly should be punished, and what better consequence than throwing them into the very world they prematurely ended their life in, but even worse.
The story’s protagonist is Zia (Fugit), a young man who killed himself because of his unfaithful girlfriend, Desiree (Leslie Bibb). So in the afterlife, he’s a pizza boy, lives with a Russian, and just roams around the town like a zombie. That is until he finds out that Desiree has recently killed herself as well and therefore is now somewhere in his world. So he decides to try and find her with his new friend Eugene (Whigham) in complete road-trip style.
On the way they pick up hitchhiker Mikal (Sossamon) who interestingly enough claims she’s searching for the people in charge of this afterlife because she was misplaced here. Oh, and also there’s a black hole on the floor of the passenger seat side of the car. Don’t ask any questions about that, but it serves a more important role than a chuckle here and there whenever someone drops something.
The film unravels in typical road trip fashion as they meet a number of strange characters while trying to reach their destination. Then there’s something about miracles happening when you’re not looking for them. Like, finding love within someone unexpectedly or reaching your goal after you’ve settled for something else. But somewhere along the ride the film loses its message and direction until the end.
Like the title displays, Wristcutters is essentially a love story that sparks in the life after death. It has an incredibly interesting premise but fails to really execute the ideas in any effective way. The lack of cheerfulness in the afterlife of suicide victims really pulls the likable qualities from every character to a point where everything is bland. But I guess that’s the point, right?
Overall, Wristcutters is a bleak, independent film with enough heart to satisfy most viewers. The triumph is feeling the emotions inside every stoic character. The love, happiness, and hope are all begging to break the surface of their cold, dismal expressions. For the whole film, all I wanted to see was a smile. It would take a miracle for that to happen.