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Human Nature (2001)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  12 April 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 14,971 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 74 user | 86 critic | 30 from

A woman is in love with a man in love with another woman, and all three have designs on a young man raised as an ape.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Magee ...
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Young Nathan (as Chase Bebak)


A philosophical burlesque, Human Nature follows the ups and downs of an obsessive scientist, a female naturalist, and the man they discover, born and raised in the wild. As scientist Nathan trains the wild man, Puff, in the ways of the world - starting with table manners - Nathan's lover Lila fights to preserve the man's simian past, which represents a freedom enviable to most. In the power struggle that ensues, an unusual love triangle emerges exposing the perversities of the human heart and the idiosyncrasies of the civilized mind. Human Nature is a comical examination of the trappings of desire in a world where both nature and culture are idealized. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the Interest of Civilization... Conform.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Human Nature  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$297,340 (USA) (12 April 2002)


$695,876 (USA) (3 May 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many of the scenes in the forest are allusions to or recreations of scenes in the Björk music video "Human Behavior", also directed by Michel Gondry. See more »


When Dr. Bronfman (Tim Robbins) enters the woods with the pistol (a German Luger) there is the sound of the hammer of a revolver being cocked - but a Luger does not make a sound like that. See more »


[first lines]
Lila Jute: I'm *not* sorry.
Puff: I *am* sorry.
Nathan Bronfman: I don't even know what sorry means anymore.
See more »


Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #3.8 (2004) See more »


Here with You
Music and Orchestration by Jean-Michel Bernard
Lyrics by Charlie Kaufman
Performed by Patricia Arquette
See more »

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User Reviews

Odd little story from Kaufman
24 June 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is further proof that writer Charlie Kaufman is probably the most unique writer in show business and he's developing into quite the cult figure. This odd story is about a woman named Lila (Patricia Arquette) who's body is covered with hair and at the age of 20 she retreats into the wilderness to hide and she writes nature books to make ends meet. But after some time she decides to leave and get electro-dialysis because she gets horny. Her friend hooks her up with a shy and repressed scientist named Nathan (Tim Robbins) and they hit it off. Then while on a nature walk they discover a man (Rhys Ifans) living in the wilderness who thinks he's an ape. They take him back to Nathan's lab where he is going to teach him to be human. Only Kaufman could come up with such a ridiculous story and make it redeemable. The film is directed by Michel Gondry who is known for directing several of Bjorks videos and he makes his feature film debut here. I think the film works because Kaufman makes sure the viewer is not to take this seriously but at the same time the humor is not presented in an over the top way like some cheap attempt at laughs. The humor is more dry witted and it reminded me a little of something Albert Brooks might have thought of. Another thing I enjoyed was the performance of Arquette. She's the core of this film and it should remind everyone that she is able to carry a film by herself and that she's a very underrated actress. I've always been a big fan of hers and she's just not used in films enough. She does appear nude but she seems fine with it and she should, she looks great. The film wants to ask the question about sex and the difference between humans and animals and the environment we are all brought up in. When the film was over I wasn't sure what to make of it but once I found out that Charlie Kaufman wrote the script an immediate smile came across my face. Knowing he was behind this odd comedy seems to make all the sense in the world!

23 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is Human Nature's Nudity Really Bad? HilDuffFan
Harshly rated McLANGwich
WHY is 'Gabrielle' pretending to be French???!!! bakert
I`ve never seen it. My mom won`t let me either. stephanie_s19
How is Hilary duff in the movie? skinnyguinea
Anyone else think this part was absolutely hilarious???? thecrippler_69
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