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STUDIO: Thinkfilm
MSRP: $29.99
RATING: R
RUNNING TIME: 111 min.
SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Commentary
- Music Gallery

THE PITCH

“Giovanni Ribisi is famous, brooding, and a little deranged! It’s the anti-Entourage!”

THE HUMANS

Giovanni Ribisi, Franka Potente, Joshua Jackson, Christina Ricci, Marisa Coughlin, Jason Lee

THE NUTSHELL

Gray Evans (Ribisi) is a quirky but popular actor (and dilettante photographer) who discovers that success comes with all sorts of troubles.  His marriage to a beautiful A-list actress (Potente) has started to crumble and he’s suspicious of other men (including Elvis Costello and Vince Vaughn) chasing her charms, and he’s becoming increasingly paranoid about stalkers like one particularly obsessed fan (Lee). As an attempt to escape the complications of fame, Gray befriends a local video store clerk and aspiring filmmaker (Jackson) and his significant other (Coughlin), whose relationship reminds him of the simpler, happier life he spent with the girlfriend (Ricci) he abandoned for the limelight but still obsesses over.


Matthias and his chums enjoyed themselves, never realizing they were in the sights of the Omega Man.

THE LOWDOWN

Actor Adam Goldberg, so memorably punctured by Nazi in Saving Private Ryan, gets behind the camera and yanks away the curtain of glamour to give audiences a glimpse into the woes of celebrity status — like the character of Gray, one can only presume Goldberg is disenchanted with aspects of semi-fame. Likely embellished from Goldberg’s own experiences, I Love Your Work is obviously meant as some kind of sardonic statement on the soul corruption that comes with stardom, and the bizarre distant relationship/fascination that average people develop with the famous, and how life in showbiz is both shallow and mundane, but unfortunately it fails to sufficiently focus on any one element.

Technically it’s a capable effort, with some interesting (if excessively avant-garde) visual tricks. As a director, Goldberg certainly isn’t ashamed to show his influences, without being too explicitly imitative – the film features stylistic references to everything from Scorsese and Hitchcock and Lynch to French New Wave. The acting is solid but none of the characters are strong enough to latch onto — I like Ribisi okay as an ensemble element, but his twitchy delivery doesn’t make for a convincing leading man, and his rocky romance with the moderately charismatic Potente isn’t very believable.


"Huh. I certainly don’t remember eating corn or Peter Dinklage, but… the evidence doesn’t lie."

But even with a string of familiar faces (Jared Harris is teriffic as a surveillance expert) the film sort of plods along as Gray seemingly loses his sense of self and yearns to renege on the whole Faustian deal, and starts swirling into insanity – is Ricci’s ex-girlfriend character, seen in flashback throughout the film, just a fabrication of his fragmenting mind? Does he realize that his voyeurism into the lives of others makes him precisely the kind of stalker that he fears? If Gray can’t understand his own raison d’etre, how (or why) should we? It’s all so purposely, preciously abstract, which only makes I Love Your Work feel that much more like an overly ambitious vanity project.

There’s a scene in the movie where the characters deride a Sundance fave about “gay, heroin-addicted angels”, but I’ll be damned if that wouldn’t make for a more interesting film.


The biggest problem with actors? All the fucking drama.

THE PACKAGE

The anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 5.1 are satisfactory, and Goldberg and Ribisi get together for an audio commentary that’s about as low-key as one would expect from a pair of incredibly deadpan buddies. Between talking about the difficulties of the production, they spend a good amount of time ribbing each other and discussing the score, which Goldberg also composed. There DVD also has some trailers, and in case they didn’t mention it enough in the commentary, there’s also a “Music Gallery” featuring selections from the movie’s soundtrack.

5.7 out of 10