Okay, you need to see this movie, if you haven’t already.
Wristcutters: A Love Story is really the story of Zia (Patrick Fugit) and his quest to find his girlfriend in the afterlife. All suicide victims go to a special afterlife, a purgatory of sorts, where no one smiles, everything is old and run down and which has a partially bleached out, faded look to it. The entire world is populated only with suicide victims, so much so that one of the characters Zia encounters in a bar likes to play a game that involves guessing how complete strangers offed themselves.
Zia’s friend is Eugene, a Russian rocker whose family also killed themselves, and he forms a sort of odd family bond with all of them. Eugene and Zia don’t spend their death any more productively than life; they hang out in bars and drink, while Zia reminisces of the girlfriend he dearly loved that he left behind. A chance encounter with an old friend (Jake Busey, in a fantastic cameo) clues Zia into the fact that his girlfriend killed herself as well and is somewhere in their realm. Zia convinces Eugene to tag along with him while he hunts Desiree, the girl he loves, down and the two start a crazy road trip involving a car with broken headlights and a black hole under the front passenger seat, a quirky hitchhiker named Mikal, and a varied cast of odd characters that they meet along the way to finding Desiree.
Wristcutters is a fairly original story, and the three leads, played by Shea Whigham, Patrick Fugit and Shannyn Sossamyn, are really, really good. Patrick Fugit always seems to pick really good roles that fly just under the radar and he’s consistently impressed me in everything he’s been in as being a pretty sturdy actor. Wristcutters is no exception. Shea Whigham, I think, probably had a fairly difficult time with this one, although he does excel – but his character, the Russian rocker Eugene, is based off of the lead singer of Gogol Bordello, which would be difficult for anyone to attack, I think. It’s good to see Shannyn Sossamyn, who I felt had much more in her than being in movies like A Knight’s Tale and 40 Days and 40 Nights, attack a meatier role with a little more depth than she has taken on previously.
The film attacks dark subjects without ever being overly depressing and most of the time winks an eye at the topics of suicide and life after death with darkly humorous tones. And the overall message of the movie is a good one and a positive one. It’s a good film with a great center to it that manages to be good from the first frame to the last, and it’s probably one of the few movies I’ve seen in quite a while that made me feel like I wanted to rush right out and buy it simply because it was that good.