Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shrink (2009)

Tepid, disappointing drama about a depressive pothead shrink that fails in sustaining interest in the main plot and deviates all too often to cliched indie melodrama. Kevin Spacey, as the titular shrink, is actually quite good as he apathetically cruises L.A., joint permanently in hand, kinda sorta looking for a connection or a validation of his own mortality. However, that premise is what Hollywood execs (and close-minded assholes) refer to as "thin," so the film is padded with side characters and plots that, for the most part, have nothing to do with the central character who, contrary to the title, has very little to do with what the film is about. Aside from the adolescent who draws Spacey out of his shell (played by Akeelah from Akeelah and the Bee), there is his aspiring screenwriter nephew, his movie starlet patient, her asshole agent, a rock star client of his, and the rock stars brand new blonde fuck buddy. These characters suck the film dry with their repetitive, vapid L.A. bullshit, and contribute nothing in terms of pathos or interest whatsoever, justifying Spacey's initial (but soon forgotten) apathy towards them. Their performances are all very superficial and typical, not amounting to anything more than the quality of a serialized network TV show. And next to the professionalism of Spacey, and his apparant commitment to this project and his performance, it really is just a shame at how half-assed and half-cocked (yup, both sides) the film turned out.

Skip it, save for those who just NEED to see Spacey smoke weed for an hour and a half. Personally, I'd rather go to the Grand Vic or wherever Spacey chills these days and blaze it up with him in real life for the duration of the film, but I guess for some, this is a healthier substitute.

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