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A Happy Love Story

by Andrew Green

Here's an uplifting little romantic comedy for everyone to enjoy....
Hey, why not? 

Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0477139/ 

Netflix description:

"Trapped in an alternate world populated by suicide victims, a band of souls tries to find an escape route in Goran Dukic's quirky fantasy. Although he took his own life, Zia (Patrick Fugit) isn't ready for such a grim hereafter, particularly when he learns that his ex-girlfriend also killed herself. On a quest to find her, he befriends a jaded hitchhiker and a Russian rocker, and together, they set out in search of a more appealing afterlife.

Well, this film is about the afterlives of a bunch of people who committed suicide. It's kind of like the Albert Brooks comedy Defending Your Life , only not as good. The interesting thing about Wristcutters, I thought, was that the place to which the characters have been sent for all eternity (apparently) is basically the same as the Earth they knew before, only more mundane. They've got to work dead end jobs, deal with naggy roommates, and struggle with confusing relationships. Same problems they had in real life; however in this case, the frustration is relentless. There are no vacations from the dead end jobs...the roommates never seem to go out...and the confusing relationships don't develop into anything fulfilling. "Hell" for these characters is simply having to relive the lives they already chose to end, but with no chance of relief. 

So, really, the setting is what's interesting here. Apart from that, I suppose there's a plot. It has something to do with a guy tracking down his old girlfriend. Meh. He also encounters a free-spirited female hitchhiker who insists that she's been sent to this afterworld by mistake, and wants to find whoever is in charge. Once this road trip aspect of the film emerges, it starts to feel a lot like Little Miss Sunshine  -- complete with a crappy foreign vehicle (why is it that these indie dark comedies always involve a funny car?). 

Yes, the dry, oddball humor is occasionally charming, and this movie undeniably had potential. Still, there's really nothing deeply interesting in Wristcutters once you get past its concept. I'd only recommend this film to those who are looking for humor in suicide...and something tells me there aren't very many of us.

 2 out of 5.