| John Cusack has
turned in a terrific performance as a schmuck that does not know how to hang on
to a girl.
- The ones who want him do not interest him at
- The ones who dump him, he
If that sounds familiar from either side of the
fence, you'll get this pic.
Cusack owns a record store (staffed by one of
the most nauseating musical know-it-alls you ever met - actor Jack Black in an
astounding performance). And into Cusack's life a little strange must fall.
Couched in terms of the most popular hit song
lists, we are continually bombarded with Cusack's ideas of what the best songs
are, period dependent, and what the best girlfriends were. Top Five
Relationships of all time. Totally objectifying them in terms of what their
appeal to him was, in a smugly ego-centric display of crass critique', Cusack
delivers the inner workings of cluelessness wrapped in a thick imbroglio of
trend and fashion.
Over the course of the film, we meet his
ex-girlfriends, as he goes on this angst-latent search for himself. To analyze
why he is miserable, he must return to the scene of the crimes - and extract
the last drops of self-indulgent me-ism from the bodies in his wake.
This film is now a favorite of mine - taking
root in about the last half. The kind I can watch and appreciate in snippets
when it comes on late-night, and in a few years to look back and remember the
first time I saw it. The wretched whining excesses of Cusack, the closed-loop
mentality of the record store employees, the intractably unrelatable exes, the
miasma of pop music and its adherents, the looming presence of Tim Robbins -
Bad Guy, mysterious sexuality of strangers. Allure, demure
As opposed to chicky flicky half-hearted
obsequious posings, like in "Keeping the
Faith", our hero suffers the consequences of his inability to relate,
to be honest, to be relationship material. He wallows around in the most
perverse self-pity, reaping the benefits of his sowing aplenty. And he deserves
what he gets. But it is all watchable, and damned near engrossing.
He is a heartless heel, interested only in
knowing why his latest love dumped him - and he's willing to spin the platters
of those top five golden oldie relationships to discover what it is about
himself that is just so darned unlovable. And thus revisits he the heartbreak
upon unsuspecting souls who thought they had cleared him from their psychic day
But darn it, you just like the
And what rings true of course is obsession,
inability to move on, pining for lost loves, self-seeking, using others and
just plain old selfishness.
It is hilarious.