A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman
During the psychedelic 60s and 70s Larry "Doc" Sportello is surprised by his former girlfriend and her plot for her billionaire boyfriend, his wife, and her boyfriend. A plan for kidnapping gets shaken up by the oddball characters entangled in this groovy kidnapping romp based upon the novel by Thomas Pynchon. Written by
Joaquin Phoenix reported to the New York Times that Thomas Pynchon was very involved in the making of the film, talking with Paul Thomas Anderson often. In Joaquin's words, Paul would sometimes say to him "'Oh, I talked to Pynchon last night, and we were talking, he thought maybe it could be like this or like that.' It was pretty amazing, because it seemed like he was very active in the process through Paul. It seemed like they talked often and he would make suggestions or talk about how to condense three scenes into one." Anderson since has denied Joaquin's report. See more »
When Doc goes to see Penny at her office she asks if he will let her depone him. While the use of the word "depone" might seem unusual compared to the more common "depose", this should not be regarded as a mistake. Penny's actual line from the source novel is this: "Would you be willing to depone for me?" See more »
Break out a pen and paper cause so much is going on it's hard to follow watching this for the first time. So many characters, so many plots surrounding sub-plots surrounding plots, you could easily lose your place if your attention wavers in the slightest. I felt like I needed to make an outline to make sense of it all. The movie is very hard to follow and needs a second viewing to fully grasp the whole thing.
My first impression is much like Joaquin Phoenix's character, a hazy pot soaked mind looking for a murderer with Bigfoot's help. No, no, he's looking for someone who was kidnapped by the Golden Fang Consortium of Nazi Heroin Smugglers led by dentist cokehead Martin Short. Or was he looking for Bigfoot's partner Littlefoot? I don't know nor do I care. One scene seemingly does not follow from the next and the whole movie became a big jumble I had no interest in solving.
All I have left in my brain are foggy recollections of details to what felt like an infinity of plots and characters. While some scenes have 'A Big Lebowski' vibe to them and were entertaining, they're sadly not enough to make me sit through this a second time. And I'm afraid without that second viewing, I'll have to live with just a brief glimpse of what might or might not be a good film. But if you have the 2h:22m to do it all again, muster up some patience, make a pot of coffee, and take good notes (some help at 1h25m). And for you truly bold viewers out there, reading the book might help.
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