Patrick Fugit, who up until now has gone largely M.I.A. on the big screen since 2000's Almost Famous, headlines a cast that includes Leslie Bibb, Shannyn Sossamon and Shea Whigham.
Distraught by the end of his relatationship with his beautiful girlfriend Desiree (Bibb), Zia (Fugit) decides to end it all in the method from which the movie draws its title. He soon finds that his life has continued on, albeit in a sort of weird otherworld where all inhabitants have offed themself by one means or another. Zia befriends a Russian rocker named Eugene (Whigham) whose entire family lives within this post-suicidal world and a darkly sexy troublemaker named Mikal, who claims to have wound up there by mistake because she didn't actually try to "off" herself. When Zia finds out that his ex-girlfriend also took her life shortly after him, he sets out to locate her.
Wristcutters: A Love Story is the feature debut from director Goran Dukic. It is based on a short story by Etgar Keret. Drawing on assorted darkly comedic influences such as Heather's, Wristcutters is an occasionally clever, moderately amusing and mostly entertaining little movie. Unfortunately, its origin from the short story medium is often apparent, feeling as though it may have been more effective as a shorter format film as well. Sadly, in this country, if a movie isn't "feature length" it doesn't get seen.
The afterworld is often the star of the show, a grim world that looks much like a rundown old town that time forgot. I've been to some towns in upstate New York exactly like this. No one can smile and sarcasm seems about as close as anyone comes to being lighthearted. After all, this is a place where everyone "offed" themselves, as it is referred to in the film, which leads to endless discussions of how they "did it," generally with some amusing (and some sad) flashback moments. Eugene, for example, did himself in by pouring beer on his electric guitar during a bar room show where the audience was less than impressed.
All in all, Wristcutters is an entertaining film with some clever ideas, but it doesn't add up to a whole lot on the whole. Fugit has aged well and offers a strong performance. Bibb is cute in her brief bit, but it is Sossaman who stands out as a darkly appealing modern answer to Winona Ryder, albeit in a sort of bad-girl, sexier way. Dukic shows promise and, although Wristcutters is unlikely to receive major release or attention, it should be enough to serve as a positive calling card for all involved and their future efforts.