6.4/10
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Human Nature (2001)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 12 April 2002 (USA)
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A woman is in love with a man in love with another woman, and all three have designs on a young man raised as an ape.

Director:

Michel Gondry

Writer:

Charlie Kaufman
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Arquette ... Lila Jute
Rhys Ifans ... Puff
Tim Robbins ... Dr. Nathan Bronfman
Ken Magee Ken Magee ... Police Detective
Sy Richardson ... Police Detective
David Warshofsky ... Police Detective
Hilary Duff ... Young Lila Jute
Stanley DeSantis ... Doctor (as Stanley Desantis)
Peter Dinklage ... Frank
Toby Huss ... Puff's Father
Bobby Harwell Bobby Harwell ... Congressman
Daryl Anderson ... Congressman
Bobby Pyle Bobby Pyle ... Young Puff
Chase MacKenzie Bebak Chase MacKenzie Bebak ... Young Nathan (as Chase Bebak)
Mary Kay Place ... Nathan's Mother
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Storyline

A philosophical burlesque, Human Nature follows the ups and downs of an obsessive scientist, a female naturalist, and the man they discover, born and raised in the wild. As scientist Nathan trains the wild man, Puff, in the ways of the world - starting with table manners - Nathan's lover Lila fights to preserve the man's simian past, which represents a freedom enviable to most. In the power struggle that ensues, an unusual love triangle emerges exposing the perversities of the human heart and the idiosyncrasies of the civilized mind. Human Nature is a comical examination of the trappings of desire in a world where both nature and culture are idealized. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the Interest of Civilization... Conform.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Human Nature See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$297,340, 14 April 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$695,876, 5 May 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Soderbergh was first interested in directing Charlie Kaufman's script back in late 1996, when Kaufman was still trying to get Being John Malkovich (1999) produced. Soderbergh's considerations for casting were for David Hyde Pierce in the role of Nathan Bronfman, Chris Kattan in the role of Puff (likely due to his character Mr. Peepers on Saturday Night Live (1975) at the time), and Marisa Tomei in the role of Lila Jute. He was about to go into pre-production when he was offered Out of Sight (1998) and after much deliberation he left the project. See more »

Goofs

Puff was raised by a madman who never taught him basic language skills or anything about human life. So how does he know the story of being stolen from his mother's apartment? See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lila Jute: I'm *not* sorry.
Puff: I *am* sorry.
Nathan Bronfman: I don't even know what sorry means anymore.
See more »

Connections

References A Fish Called Wanda (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Allegretto in B Flat Major
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Produced and Performed by Jean-Michel Bernard (piano) with F. Laroque (violin) and Jean-Philippe Audin (as J.P. Audin) (cello)
Sound engineer: Rodolphe Gervais
Recorded at Popion Studio, France
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charlie Kaufman can't write third acts
24 October 2001 | by Alonso DuraldeSee all my reviews

Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman received a great deal of acclaim for his "Being John Malkovich" script, but while that film contained many quirky and inventive ideas, the plot fell apart in the third act, making for an ultimately unsatisfying experience. The same can be said for his second produced script, "Human Nature," which is chock-full of good ideas but ultimately unravels. Kaufman is clever and a jokester, he's just not much of a scenarist.

On the up side, there's a lovely performance by Patricia Arquette, who's not afraid of any of the many bizarre turns her character goes through, and director Michel Gondry (who has made terrific videos for Bjork and others) does the best that he can with the script. (Although those CG mice are pretty lame once they are set free.)

Not an unalloyed success, but some elements here definitely work. Too bad they don't all come through.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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