Ben Donovan (Matthew Perry) manages The Sunshine Centre, a seconde rate sports/events arena in San Diego. A short lived quirky comedy that chronicles the daily goings-on of misfit folks ... See full summary »
Nick is a struggling dentist in Canada. A new neighbor moves in, and he discovers that it is Jimmy "The Tulip" Teduski. His wife convinces him to go to Chicago and inform the mob boss who wants Jimmy dead.
Hudson Milbank is a successful Hollywood screenwriter who suddenly and strangely finds himself without any emotional feelings. He tries doctor after doctor and shrink after shrink, but nothing works. The Golf Channel, lesbian exercise classes and a dizzying variety of pills get him through the day, but don't quite solve his problem. His writing partner tries everything to get him back to normal, but it's not until Hudson meets Sara that he finds a real motivation to get better and to actually start feeling again. From the writer of Deuce Bigalow, comes NUMB, a romantic comedy following an unusual man looking for strange love. Written by
When the stripper removes her pink g-string she kicks it off screen to her left with her right foot. When the camera angle shifts back to the opposite side of the stage the g-string is clearly visible next to her right foot. The same problem occurs a few moments later when the camera (from behind Hudson and Sarah) shows her seated on the stage and the g-string is nowhere in sight, but when the camera shifts across the stage (facing Hudson and Sarah) the g-string is next to her. See more »
I have been rooting around for sometime now for a movie that would speak to the inertia that has settled over me in various cycles during the last decade or so. This would be a movie that would address the issue of being a potentially gifted person, but who is stunned by the oppressiveness of modern life: frightening economy, unpredictable jobs, the no-rules relational chaos of post-modernism.
The last movie I saw that got to this was "Wonder Boys," about an insightful English professor who couldn't function because of being emotionally stunned. While it is flawed and at times, forcing itself too much on you, "Numb" is that great new movie that gets into the struggle for identity.
Matthew Perry does a convincing job as Hudson Milbank, a modern LA freelance writer, trying to find meaning and connection. The film cleverly dances in and out of his early life, showing his times with fittingly remote and narcissistic parents, especially a destructive mother who is played perfectly by Helen Shaver, a great Canadian actress who masterfully conjures cold, chipper, semi-ice-queen figures.
It also has a hysterical and realistically frightening bit about a highly credentialed psychiatrist, Dr. Cheryl Blaine, played ably by Mary Steenburgen, who has her own bout with borderline syndrome and sexaholic tendencies, which she can't seem to restrain from unleashing on Hudson, who seeks her help with his condition.
The funniest line of the movie comes when she chases him out of a restaurant in a predatory moment, asking him about his family. To which Hudson, in a mid-trot, grunts to Tom, his writer sidekick played by Kevin Pollack: "uh...run." You can't decide whether Dr. Blaine is funny or terrifying, maybe the scariest female character since Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct."
There are so many familiar handles in this movie, I can't even remember them all. Besides the out-of-control, counter-transferring female therapist, let's see...there was
-- Spending most of your leisure life in bed being hooked on one brand of inanely topical TV, in this case, The Golf Channel. Many of us have our times escaping into with some kind of nerdy TV; mine is The Weather Channel, for my ex, it is The Fishing Channel, and an old roommate couldn't live without The Military Channel.
-- Trying an unending series of anti-depressants, thinking you will find one magic pill to fix you. Hudson becomes so much a regular at the HMO pharmacy, that we see the pharmacist playfully wishing him luck with his latest prescription.
-- Being up and out at 4 a.m., insisting this is the only time you really feel good about the world.
And there are many more moments I recognize in this movie that come from the benumbing, joyless periods that seem to settle in on us. without answers, at various times in the post-modern world.
What director Harris Goldberg does that is so helpful is he makes many of the trapped moments funny and he resists offering up a trite resolution. Hudson finds hope in certain things and soon abandons them, going on to his next illusory beacon. It is a waiting game until he finds the next bit of relief, kind of like real life.
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