Gary, an actor who plays a cop on television, uses too much lighter fluid when he burns his ex-girlfriend's things, then he drinks and drives, uses crack, and crashes his car. He sobers up in jail and is placed under house arrest and the watchful eye of a publicist, the cheery and tough-minded Margaret. She moves him into the empty house of a writer who's away in Canada on a shoot. Gary meets Sarah, an attractive and seemingly-willing neighbor. His friendship with Margaret blooms and strange things happen: he finds notes he doesn't remember writing, he hears noises, and he seems to bump into himself in the kitchen. Two remaining chapters reveal what's going on. Written by
The Nines has some fantastic ideas and some really rather good performances (Melissa McCarthy is a constant joy throughout and Ryan Reynolds shows an impressive diversity for his acting league) however, after a promising start, loses its way as the story progresses.
A film of three distinct parts in a Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) style, The Nines deals with some seriously deep themes including philosophy, theology and betrayal. However, unlike Eternal Sunshine, the direction of John August (writer of Go and Big Fish) seems too straight and, dare I say it, Teen-like for such a film where a better choice of helm would have seem to be someone like David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks) or maybe Darren Aronofski (Pi, The Fountain). As it is the film progressively gets weirder and weirder and with it surrealism jars with the previous tone to the point it feels preposterous.
Worth a watch and nice to see someone try something new but ultimately disappointing.
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