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Not All Alcoholics Are This Unlikable
It's possible that people who enjoyed this movie, did so because they had previous knowledge of the writer this movie is loosely based upon, Charles Bukowski. I have never heard of this author going into the movie, and I'm not sure it would have mattered that this fictional story is based upon what life as Charles Bukowski is romanticized to be. The fact that I like Matt Dillon in most of his films, didn't make me like his character Henry any better.
Parts of the film include voice over of Henry speaking. In most films they use this as a narration tool to let us know things the movie otherwise can't reveal in the scenes. In "Factotum" I am afraid the dialogue was the text in the written submissions Henry was making to a publisher. I hope I am wrong. It was mind-numbing drivel, like a diary of how one behaves like a loser, but with no skills in telling it even in an entertaining fashion. Henry's voice is just a simple narrator to his mundane life of getting fired and getting drunk, it suggests nothing poetic or redeeming at all.
I'm not opposed to enjoying movies which show the alcoholic spiraling out of control, even if it has a totally unsatisfying ending. I really enjoyed "Leaving Las Vegas" with Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue as Ben and Sera. Here a guy commits suicide by drinking himself to death, but he convinces you to like him in spite of his terrible character flaws and bad behavior. "Factotum" just can not accomplish this for me.