Boy-o-boy was this dull. You know that whole Seinfeld "It's a show about, nothing" theory? Well, this is a movie about nobodies, who live in nowheresville, talk about no one and do nothing. Nothing squared.
Michael Douglas is a great actor-yes. His performance here may even get a nod next year at the Oscars. Frances McDormand (the Fargo lady) is a true talent. Young Tobey Maguire may become a the next shining star. But...this was so dull, all that couldn't make me like this film. Arrgh. I ate like a Pigasnarous-Rex just to stay awake!
Here's the scoop. A smelly has been best selling author Grady (Michael 'Hawk Eyes' Douglas) has a drinking problem, a commitment problem, a problem with blackouts and has S.D.H.I.C., a personality disorder known as selfish-dick- with- head- in-clouds syndrome AKA the "okay, back to me" disorder. He's writing another novel...it's up to about 2612 pages (no joke). His editor, Crabtree (Robert 'Shock the monkey' Downey Jr) is in town to get the new manuscript, drink alot, pop some pills and, evidently, get as much male booty as he can acquire. Yes, Crabtree's playing pet the pee-pee with boyz. A gay man, written by perhaps a homophobe?
Meanwhile, college psycho-boy James Leer (whom they ALWAYS call James Leer never Jim or James or "'Freakboy") is suicidal. Grady thinks breaking into the college Dean's closet that houses Marilyn Monroe's wedding jacket will cheer the morbid little toad up. Oops-a-daisy they have to kill the Dean's dog. That's a barrel of laughs huh? Oh, what about the Dean's wife, Chancellor Sara (McDormand)? Yeah, Grady knocked her up but isn't sure if he is ready to be a dad...See he's married- to a Barbie© doll bride named Emily-no less, but cheats on her anyway. Likeable guy, huh?
Well, that's the story, not much more. Want to spend about two hours with these people? Me neither. Be thankful I am here to steer you clear of this colossal waste of an evening.
An aside: I had walked out of "Mr. Death' a documentary on the new and improved electric chair by creator, Fred A. Leuchter (who later claimed Nazis never did gas anybody in Auschwitz) to see WB. But being reminded by the sick documentary that one of my heroes, Thomas Edison, tested his patent by so cruelly electrifying an elephant (shown -via an actual clip-). I realized Death was a serious and depressing documentary, and exited stage left. Hey, I can see death docs at home on the History Channel snuggled up in my blankies, noshing blindly on pistachios for moral support. Just goes to show you you can run from bad films but you can't hind.
Back to Wonder Boys. Evidently, the moral is, to be a good writer you must be dysfunctional in everyday life, never bathe, stay on the fringe of society and have no moral back bone whatsoever. Then, and only then, will the novel come. Please. Skip this unless you like to watch dull folks do dull things. The acting's is good, but does that matter if the subject is like Al Gore on a handful-o- quaaludes?
Snack Recommendation: Paprika dick with ground lamb (one of the few funny lines).
Starring: Michael Douglas, Frances McDormand, Tobey Maguire and Robert Downey Jr
Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential)