As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
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The resolutely single Don Johnston has just been dumped by his latest lover, Sherry. Don resigns himself to being alone yet again and left to his own devices. Instead, he is compelled to reflect on his past when he receives by mail a mysterious pink letter. It is from an anonymous former lover and informs him that he has a 19-year-old son who may now be looking for his father. Don is urged to investigate this "mystery" by his closest friend and neighbor, Winston, an amateur sleuth and family man. Hesitant to travel at all, Don nonetheless embarks on a cross-country trek in search of clues from four former flames. Unannounced visits to each of these unique women hold new surprises for Don as he haphazardly confronts both his past and, consequently, his present. Written by
This according to some people is Jim Jamusch's mainstream movie, well to me it is still an independent movie it just so happens that everyone likes it and rightly so. It is a subtle tale filled with meditations on life, ageing, love and loss. The film opens with a pink letter and the viewer sort of follows it on a mini road trip from post box to sort room to final delivery. It is a beautiful metaphor for the journey you are about to undertake with Bill Murray's character Don Johnston. Everything in this film is set up so well from Don's name (a cross between Don Johnson of Miami vice fame and Don Juan, both smooth ladies men in their own right) to the underage daughter of one of don's old flames called Lolita. The style of the film is paced slow allowing you time to wonder at Murray's dead dead dead pan delivery, it's the stuff that made watching him so enjoyable in 'The life aquatic' and 'lost in translation' but turned up a notch. From opening the anonymous letter to his subsequent journey through ex-girlfriends to try and find who sent it and if he really has a twenty-year-old son as the letter states, is beautifully crafted to keep you glued to the screen. It has elements of comedy but not so much jokes as more the absurdity of life and bizarre situations that can arise. The characters are so diverse your bound to spot someone you know in one of them. One of my favourite things about this film is how it addresses wanting children from a mans point of view, Don constantly says to his neighbour that he's not interested in finding out or even going and then he does the opposite, it is the male equivalent of being broody and it ends up with Don clutching at straws and almost saying 'someone, anyone please be my son?' With a well-chosen eclectic soundtrack from Jarmusch complimenting scene after scene the film flows from comedic highs to tender lows. Here Jim and Bill have committed a very special blend of cinematic magic to the screen, one that should be a good way for a mainstream audience to enjoy an indie film and realise it doesn't have to be all CGI and explosions to be brilliant film-making.
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