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The film follows fictional movie star Gray Evans through the disintegration of his marriage, his gradual mental breakdown, and his increasing obsession with a young film student who reminds Gray of his own life before becoming famous. A dark psychological drama, I Love Your Work explores the pressures of fame and the difference between getting what you want and wanting what you get. Written by
Gray Evans (Giovanni Ribisi) is an internationally acclaimed movie star, and so is his beautiful wife Mia Lang (Franka Potente). In a wild ecstasy of fame and alcohol, he is getting more and more unable to differentiate between fans and stalkers. His marriage starts to suffer from his obsessions. In a video store, he meets John (Joshua Jackson) and his attractive girlfriend Jane (Christina Ricci) with whom he falls in love. But she seems to be unreachable for him, because John and Jane are a happy couple. Gray even engages a detective to observe days long each step of the life of John and Jane, pretending their were stalkers. The detective delivers Gray binders of photographs, transcriptions of what they speak in their apartment and what they eat for dinner.
But this highly underrated movie is not about the film star's dream of possessing the girlfriend of someone else. It is not simply a movie about the difference of having what you want versus wanting what you have either. It goes much deeper. The film deals with the dissolving of the borders between Grey's wife Mia and John's girlfriend Jane on the one side and of Grey himself and John on the other side. It also deals with a very special kind of "imitation of life": Grey controls the life of John and Jane in order to be a part of their life, hence imitating it, fully unaware of the fact that their life is not his own. In Grey's fantasy, Mia and Jane fall together, he turns two women into one who has both the qualities of Mia and of Jane.
From the standpoint of metaphysics, the borders between subject and object are transgressed. Therefore, the logic of the story of "I love your work" does not follow classical Aristotelian logic, in which this border can only be crossed by death. One remembers R.W. Fassbinder's "Despair A Trip into the Light", where the protagonist Hermann Hermann also abolishes the borders between him as subject and the fair-grounder Felix Weber as object. Like Hermann, Gray, too, looks at himself having exchanged his position with the position of John and having become Jane's boyfriend, so he changes the subject-object relation twice and abolishes in the end the individuality of Mia and Jane by merging them into one fictive personality. Like Fassbinder's "Despair", also "I love your work" is a trip into the light but while Fassbinder's movie ends with showing the insanity of the protagonist in a bright alpine village, where he assumes to be a movie star, the protagonist in Adam Goldberg's movie is in fact a movie star. Like in "Despair", at the end, the police arrest the protagonist, but in Goldberg's movie it is not the sunlight in which Gray's trip into insanity ends, but the floodlights on the roofs of dozens of police cars.
Rating: 10 points.
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