I Love Your Work (2003) Poster

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All-star cast doesn't save this move that will leave you wondering "What??"
lahdidah22 March 2004
I saw this movie at a screening during the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin.

The editing was cutting-edge, the cast was full of great actors who played their parts expertly, there were some great lines, great cinematography, the sets and scenery were perfect, the cameos were good...but somehow, it still doesn't work. I don't know what happened or where it went wrong, but it will leave you questioning what you just saw and if you missed some critical part of the movie that would make it make sense. But you didn't. Towards the end, it just becomes too convoluted to work. And having had many discussions with other film-goers from the festival, I can tell you with certainty that I was not the only one who felt that way.
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Muddled and misanthropic
James McNally6 September 2003
I saw this film at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival.

Giovanni Ribisi is a movie star living what I hope is a caricature of a movie star's life (although in Hollywood, there seems to be no such thing as a caricature). He's becoming paranoid, seeing stalkers everywhere and suspecting his movie-star wife of infidelity (with Elvis Costello, no less). Then he meets a fan who seems so normal, and proceeds to screw up this man's life, all the while descending into some sort of madness, and flashing back to a time in his life when he seemed to have normalcy and real love. This film is a bit of a mess, actually. Lots of flashbacks and movie stars portraying movie stars portraying movie stars. It got a bit too "meta" at times, and the narrative was muddled. There was also an ambiguity about the whole fame thing, which is not very new, and frankly, hard for an audience to sympathize with.

I love movies and hate the movie business. So, apparently, does Adam Goldberg. So how come I didn't like this more?


P.S. Before the screening, I saw Giovanni Ribisi walking down the lineup filming the crowd with his camcorder. In addition to Ribisi and director Adam Goldberg, Franka Potente, Christina Ricci, and Shalom Harlow were also at the screening. Of course, after seeing the caustic way in which fans (and stars) are portrayed in the film, it would be just about impossible to say anything to any of them, even if you could get close.
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Richly layered and textured
indiephile215 September 2003
The story follows the deteriorating mental state of movie star Gray Evans (Giovanni Ribisi). He's married to a movie star (Potente) but he essentially married her because he saw her in a movie (a french new wave musical) and is tortured by the fact that she clearly can't live up to the perfections of that character. So he stalked his own wife. And Jason Lee is stalking him. Gray's paranoia increases to the point that he imagines everyone in the world staring, speaking, trying to touch him and in this distressed state he seeks refuge in, of all places, a video store.

Here he meets a young video store clerk and his girlfriend, John and Jane (Joshua Jackson and Marisa Coughlan). They represent to him an ideal, the life he once had before fame. Where love was real and a commitment meant something. What does he do with this new found inspiration? He stalks them of course, buying the apartment opposite them and monitoring their every move. In the process he infects their relationship with his misery, resulting in their own break up. Using a little more of his own psychotic logic, Gray jumps in to save the day, solving the problem by beating the crap out of Jackson. Thus freeing himself from his demons, Gray is then able to move on to a happier place, the great movie theater in the sky...

Goldberg may be accused of solipsism. This is a movie about an actor, directed by an actor. And why not, aren't you supposed to write what you know? The main character is utterly self indulgent, he has a potentially great life but seems to be caught up in his own 'poor me' world. Bummer, successful movie star, married to another movie star, just how bad can life get?! Buy then again, who were the Montagues and the Capulets other than wealthy, self indulgent individuals? The same character flaw applies here as in Romeo and Juliet. The central character is not a philanthropist, he thinks of no-one other than himself and for that he pays the ultimate price. That's what makes this movie a modern day tragedy, a cautionary tale.

Sure, it speaks to actors more strongly than anyone else but there's a message in it for everyone. The grass is always greener.

Richly textured and layered, the film shows many influences from David Lynch to David Fincher. Goldberg gets magnificent perfomances from an astonishing cast. Ribisi is dazzling in his misery, Jared Harris and Eric Siegel hilarious, and Marisa Coughlan puts up an incredibly mature performance in a role that she could have coasted through. The cinematography is excellent, giving the film a look way more impressive than the budget.

This is the kind of movie that if you get it and it touches you, you won't want to stop watching it.
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My take on what the movie was all about.
tungi_kana15 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw the film and like others on this board, my wife didn't get what had just happened in the film. I explained it to her as being this:

At the end of the movie you see Gray and his girlfriend in the theater watching a musical version of a film starring a girl named Mia. Gray's girlfriend says "You're going to leave me for her one day, aren't you?". I believe all that preceded this scene happened in Gray's mind as a daydream about what his life would be like if he did get that chance.

The reason I think this is because I have done exactly that when a comment from someone has set me off daydreaming.

If you think I am way off base, feel free to let me know like I know people like to do.
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Good acting in an OK movie
Ryan24 September 2003
I saw I Love Your Work at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. The film has a great cast and each one does some solid acting. The plot follows an actor who slowly spirals into madness because he cannot deal with his celebrity status. Ribisi and Pontente are especially good as a Hollywood couple, but the film drags on a bit too long and we never get a good understanding of the main characters and the motivation behind their decisions. Judging by the the discussions I heard at the end of the film, I was not the only person who felt this way. Aside from the acting of the two main stars, I Love Your Work is not that noteworthy.
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Thought provoking and enjoyable
AlmaCuerpocaliente3 July 2006
It seems people either love or hate this movie.

I think novels, movies, and art do not have to follow an "essay" format. There's no requirement that a hypothesis must be proffered and clearly and logically proved within the movie/book. The goal may be to make people think, to raise questions without giving easy answers, and to do so in a framework that incites both feeling and thought simultaneously.

Hrm, I don't think I'm writing this in a way that really gets my thoughts across, but there you have it.

I enjoyed the movie. It was thought provoking without being highbrow. There was no "moral story" laid out or beaten into you.

I'd recommend this movie for people who like mystery, thought, and don't necessarily require a definite answer/conclusion to enjoy a film. The acting was super, and the movie flowed well.

:) Alma
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Deserves the chance to finally be seen!
gerrystakes3 December 2005
Like "Ryan" I also saw this movie at the 2003 Toronto film festival and from my vantage point (on which more below) I disagree that many in the audience reacted coolly to it. I and most others certainly did not. Indeed the movie was number 8 on my published list of the "top ten" for that year. So I was delighted upon seeing it reviewed in the December 2 New York Times that it finally makes it into a commercial cinema, if only in Manhattan. After that festival premiere screening 27 months ago I wrote: The first American film I saw turned out to be a revelation in more ways than one. A small-budget independent production looking for a distribution deal, I Love Your Work is an edgy and ultimately chilling insight into the destructive cult of celebrity – an appropriate antidote for the Hollywood glamor syndrome of the Festival's opening weekend. Second-time director Adam Goldberg teams up with Giovanni Ribisi (both had breakout roles in Saving Private Ryan) to deliver this fatal object lesson on the perils of fame. As the falling star, Ribisi (also in Lost in Translation) gives the performance of his career. He's phenomenal. In one of those "you had to be there" twists, at the screening in the historic refurbished Elgin theater I ended up sitting directly behind Ribisi who was next to an anxious Goldberg and girlfriend Christina Ricci (also in the film, along with Canadian Joshua Jackson, and currently in Woody Allen's excellent Anything Else). Ribisi was recording the event with his own video camera, and as the credits rolled to loud applause I was able to lean over to him and say: "Congratulations, I really do love your work!"
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Transgression of Individuality
hasosch29 March 2007
Gray Evans (Giovanni Ribisi) is an internationally acclaimed movie star, and so is his beautiful wife Mia Lang (Franka Potente). In a wild ecstasy of fame and alcohol, he is getting more and more unable to differentiate between fans and stalkers. His marriage starts to suffer from his obsessions. In a video store, he meets John (Joshua Jackson) and his attractive girlfriend Jane (Christina Ricci) with whom he falls in love. But she seems to be unreachable for him, because John and Jane are a happy couple. Gray even engages a detective to observe days long each step of the life of John and Jane, pretending their were stalkers. The detective delivers Gray binders of photographs, transcriptions of what they speak in their apartment and what they eat for dinner.

But this highly underrated movie is not about the film star's dream of possessing the girlfriend of someone else. It is not simply a movie about the difference of having what you want versus wanting what you have either. It goes much deeper. The film deals with the dissolving of the borders between Grey's wife Mia and John's girlfriend Jane on the one side and of Grey himself and John on the other side. It also deals with a very special kind of "imitation of life": Grey controls the life of John and Jane in order to be a part of their life, hence imitating it, fully unaware of the fact that their life is not his own. In Grey's fantasy, Mia and Jane fall together, he turns two women into one who has both the qualities of Mia and of Jane.

From the standpoint of metaphysics, the borders between subject and object are transgressed. Therefore, the logic of the story of "I love your work" does not follow classical Aristotelian logic, in which this border can only be crossed by death. One remembers R.W. Fassbinder's "Despair – A Trip into the Light", where the protagonist Hermann Hermann also abolishes the borders between him as subject and the fair-grounder Felix Weber as object. Like Hermann, Gray, too, looks at himself having exchanged his position with the position of John and having become Jane's boyfriend, so he changes the subject-object relation twice and abolishes in the end the individuality of Mia and Jane by merging them into one fictive personality. Like Fassbinder's "Despair", also "I love your work" is a trip into the light – but while Fassbinder's movie ends with showing the insanity of the protagonist in a bright alpine village, where he assumes to be a movie star, the protagonist in Adam Goldberg's movie is in fact a movie star. Like in "Despair", at the end, the police arrest the protagonist, but in Goldberg's movie it is not the sunlight in which Gray's trip into insanity ends, but the floodlights on the roofs of dozens of police cars.

Rating: 10 points.
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Amazing movie you must see!!! Goldberg is brilliant
metschan18 March 2004
I was one of the lucky ones to see this movie at the South by Southwest Film Festival. I was completely into this movie after the first 5 minutes. It's easy to say the cast is amazing but there's so much more. The whole look of the film is amazing. I loved the music in the film and was shocked that Adam had written that too. I heard some say that they didn't like it because it was too confusing. If you need every part of a movie spelled out for you then this isn't for you. I love having a movie where I have my own personal interpretation of it. After the movie we went to have a drink where I ran into Adam and Christina and I have to say they seem like two of the nicest people. We should be so lucky if Adam continues to write and direct.
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I love this work......
Kevin McDaniels6 January 2007
What just happened? If you saw or are going to see this movie you might be asking your self this question. But beyond the obvious... what is real or not, trying to explain this story line is almost pointless. If you are looking for a normal movie where Ribisi shoots someone on the red carpet (like shown on the cover of the DVD) this is not for you. But if you would like a unique perspective on the crazy mind of a somewhat cracked out young movie star who struggles with his grip on what a normal life and true love is, you should watch this. Great cinematography and use of lighting and set design (or lack there of). Do not watch this with people who don't like indie films and are generally categorized as slow, dumb, or say 'I don't get it' after every other movie you see with them. Otherwise, I really liked this...

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prodbabies5 May 2006
I was interested in seeing this picture after reading a short synopsis, which, unfortunately, was better than the film. The film has a nice cast of actors but is slow moving and does not build much momentum nor does it build any tension. The film does not set up the leads mental breakdown very well, as there is not much done to explain the pressures that are making him crack. He ultimately just seems to be a person who is ill or weak, rather than someone who broke under extreme pressure (which I think was the intention).

Watching this on DVD the sound quality was poor with low volume (had to crank the volume up higher than normal, just to hear it). Music did not aide this movie in building any emotional response. Although I wouldn't go as far to say it was a very bad film, it just was not very good. Unltimately, the failure would fall on Adam Goldberg who was writer, director & producer. Adam is a good actor, but may have possibly wore too many hats on this project.
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Beautiful movie with a diverse and talented cast. Challenging.
georgina-youl25 June 2005
It's hard to believe this movie is from a first time writer/director - Adam Goldberg. The movie intently portrays the horror and impact of life in the public eye, and the mania of not dealing with fame. A disturbing film in parts, that will leave you squirming in your seat, hard to follow at times? Yes, and somehow this just adds to the film. The challenging storyline is extremely well supported by a fantastic cast, but Joshua Jackson is clearly the standout. Clearly Adams experience in front of the lens has given him some insight - the film is beautifully shot, the color grading excellent, the composition compelling. An exceptional film for a first time filmmaker. I can't rave enough, one of the best films I've seen for ages. Ill be looking out for more films from this talented newcomer.
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An overly ambitious project for this inexperienced director
mtrubic7 September 2003
An overly ambitious project for this inexperienced director, difficult to follow with awkward plot changes, poorly defined dream sequences and flash forwards leaving large gaps and a very confused audience. - Even among experienced film festival viewers

Very good performance by Franka Potente however
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Trippy Movie from Adam Goldberg
jwatts8320 October 2005
I was hooked into this movie after watching it for 5 minutes. Goldberg captures the movie- obsessed college kid existence very well (or at least, the whimsical movie-inspired lives that film students aspire to) with respect to Gray's past. Ribisi gives a gripping performance here, he's riveting as the insulated film star with artistic aspirations who slowly looses his grip on reality. What surprised me is Goldberg's talent as a director. He's really really good, got a great visual sense, but the overall structure of this movie reminded me of Mulholland Drive, similar to that movie, I left this one a bit confused. (though less so than MD, and with much more good will). Goldberg sends up the 400 blows, and a Jaques Demy musical, as well as self-conscious arty films, in the film within a film within a hallucination structure. Jason Lee is great & and creepy performance as a stalker. Franka Potente is funny, and it's great seeing her in a bigger role again. Elvis Costello has a hilarious cameo. I'd strongly recommend this, but you may want to see it a couple of times. It's a cool experiment, and I liked all the smoking, decor, and camera product placement.
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This movie is for celebrities
arunsash197813 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
What was this movie really about? I have no idea, actually a lot of ideas. I hope one of them is correct. Isn't it weird that the main character actually acts a lot like Adam Golderg does in his movies. It was a pretty good performance though, Boiler Room-like. This movie basically says that celebrities should not stalk regular folks, it can be dangerous. Or the grass is greener on the other side, or this explains Tom Cruise. Maybe even the fact that most of these celebrities end up as Scientology followers cos fame in Hollywood just makes you crazy. Well if its something most people don't understand then its either termed as genius or art. I think its just art, after-all art has no set definitions, at least thats what I think.
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A great movie to have on while doing stuff in another room!
David Timmons22 May 2006
This film is ridiculously terrible. The one other comment left here pretty much sums it up. I like Giovanni Ribisi and thought the film looked interesting enough. The worst part about my experience with this film is that I had to campaign hard to win the "who's picking the movie" debate with my girlfriend, and not only was it just bad, it was awful. I won't restate what Juliet2005 said about it since she hit the nail on the head when it came to an unfocused plot and frustratingly meaningless diversions.

What a disappointment for what was really a decent looking cast list. There's a cameo by Elvis Costello that kind of brought my attention back, but that ended up being weird. I enjoyed the music throughout the film, and as the other review said, the camera work was nice. But, come one, what's up with the plot?!

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Who is out of control, the movie or the audience?
This film is what I fear a complete "own opinion" seeking movie. In my humble opinion the movie tries to hard to be and give you that "Arty" feeling. In the beginning it all seems to turn out to be nice and successful although it will turn out after about 30 min into "boring" and "too much" of it! A kinda OD effect. The over and over arty editing, special camera tricks and angles are slow and keep away the "drive", "speed", "tempo" a movie needs to keep your thoughts an interest locked onto the screen. All these special arty things don't do any credit onto the movie but have more the opposite effect which will arise. In my opinion though it's such a movie that needs each and everyone personal individual opinion. Some will love it and some will hate it. Best thing to do is have a go and make up your own idea. I know this isn't much of a help but that's just the way it is. I hate the movie but I can't assure that somebody else possible likes it. I wouldn't recommend the movie, that's the only thing I know for sure. For me the movie wasn't a huge success, I even hit the skip forward button after about 45 min to shorten the suffer of a slow movie before it becomes utterly boring and annoying. It's a pity after all of the fact that one of my fav "new generation" actresses plays into this flick. "Christina Ricci" she's one of those actresses who has a strong personality and knows how to cash in this ability. She has the power and knowledge just that perfect of how to carry her character as a complete movie! Even with all this credit onto her résumé she couldn't prevent that she looses total control on her character as the film itself in this case. A good attempt of the director as the actors but for me personal? "NOPE"!

4 outa 10 Dario/
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I can't say I love this piece of work
Gordon-1119 May 2014
This film tells the story of a film star who gets paranoid about stalkers. Ultimately he becomes a stalker, and blurs the boundaries of reality and his fantasies.

"I Love Your Work" has a great cast, and the ability of the filmmakers to ensemble so many recognisable faces using a low budget is quite amazing. However, the film itself is a complete wreck. After just five minutes I made up my mind that the film was terrible, and it did not get any better throughout the whole movie. The visuals and cinematography are so pretentious and self indulging. The filmmakers do not see to realise that it is not interesting to watch people smoke, or watch people develop photos in a dark room. The plot is a little complicated as it has many imaginary scenes, and the presentation of it is rather poor, making the film very confusing to watch. It is unfortunate that it becomes one big confusing mess. I can't say I love this piece of work.
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Keep An Open Mind
jbguiles11113 July 2010
Like the title say's you for sure have to keep an open mind while watching this film. It's shot oddly but yet unique and for people who sit there and say "wow i like how he shot that" then this movie is for you. I read the reviews for this movie before i watched it and was ready to see complete garbage but instead what i got was great acting, great film making, and great production. Giovanni Ribisi played an amazing role as Grey Evans and I shall be adding this to wall of movies I have very soon. The Ending I thought was fit and really set an end to the tone the movie was having. It's a complete work of art showing how even the stars that we all love can have inner demons and no one can be above the fact that some people need love in their lives.
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I loved this work.The second time around
Lemmy_Caution00318 June 2006
The first time watching " I Love your work" I didn't like it,It cut too fast and I couldn't find a place to grab on and hold on.But I decided to give it another try last night and I love it.Maybe you have to read too many tabloids to get it,like I do.And it doesn't hurt to have an understanding of mental breakdown.Which I also come equipped with.It has one of the best casts in a long time,Giovani Ribisi,Franka Potente,Christina Ricci-hot as always,Jason Lee-I wouldn't want that ChiMo looking' dude stalking me!,Wait you guys know the cast your on IMDb. If you did/didn't like this check out Adam Goldberg's short "Running With The Bulls".You're bound to like/hate that too.oh,"BOund" is on.Jennifer Tilly is hot.
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Someone please explain!
veiga7758 April 2006
My husband and I just watched this movie and we wanted to know if anyone could please explain what the movie meant?!? We kept expecting everything to be clarified at the end, but no such satisfaction was granted to us. I know a lot of you are into film festivals and whatnot, and are used to this kind of movie, but we are just completely lost. Will someone please explain to us what happened? We liked the cast, liked the acting, and appreciated the individuality they all possessed, but the end just did not click for us. We would appreciate any feedback that anyone can give to us, as we are just baffled as to what the point of the movie was. Thank you!
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could of been great
Johnny1029 March 2006
Right off the bat i thought this film was very good, i think Goldberg is not only a great actor but i also think he can be just as good behind the camera. But, i thought the film slightly dragged it's feet in some parts, the first hour i was deep into the film, i was sucked in by the great performances and the stylish feel to the movie, but when it began to go in the hour and twenty minute length i began to feel a little board with the repetitive actions being portrayed over and over. Non the less i stick to my solid 8 out of 10, due to great performances, not a bad story, and the style set to the film, i strongly recommend this film, and it hardly earns it's R rating, if your over 12i think it would be OK.
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Ennui would be a kind descriptor
gradyharp7 November 2006
Clocking in at just under two hours, I LOVE YOUR WORK leaves the viewer feeling as though from the opening sequence that stones have been tied to your feet and your body thrown into the very deep and dank water to slowly settle into the mud at the bottom. Sound dreary? Then avoid this little mess of a film.

It is hard to believe that Adrian Butchart who is giving us the radiant GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS trilogy could help write this script: one wonders if writer/director Adam Goldberg didn't just bring him in for help. The story is tired (small time guy gives up love for a career as a movie star with all the accessories of money, fame, celeb status, gorgeous wife, etc. only to find life in its simpler fashion was preferable) and the choices of casting this very dark and dreary tale are inappropriate. Giovanni Ribisi, superb an actor though he most assuredly is, simply is not credible as a movie star sex symbol whose stardom is accompanied by alcoholism, self hate, paranoia, fragmented thinking, and bad decisions. The only time we see anything vaguely suggestive of his ability to create a role is in the many flashback scenes (with girlfriend Christina Ricci): his on screen chemistry with his famous wife Mia (the enormously talented Franka Potenta who here is wasted in a mannequin's role) is nil, and his interplay with such actors as Vince Vaughn, Marisa Coughlan, Judy Greer, Shalom Harlow, Joshua Jackson, Jason Lee, and Elvis Costello is unilateral.

Goldberg films this boring redundant tale using all manner of artsy camera tricks that only serve to make the tedium increase. With a cast like this the product had promise. Goldberg needs some time to think about this phase of his career. Grady Harp
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odd fun, but not satisfying
Juliette200511 October 2005
I'll admit that this film has great style, and the director Adam Goldberg is clearly talented - I like his work as an actor, as well- but I LOVE YOUR WORK falls short of what I like in a film. My friends who saw it with me at the festival enjoyed it, some more than others, and it's admittedly dark and complex- but at times I checked out of the story because I just didn't care that much about Giovanni Ribisis character. That's not to say that he doesn't do great work- that's what's hard about this film, it's obvious that everyone is talented and trying really hard, so you almost WANT it to succeed- but I left the theater feeling kind of ho-hum about it. Franke Potente is almost unrecognizable, and does fine work, as does Jared Harris, Judy Greer, and the whole cast.

But the story wasn't very strong or interesting, unless you're a put upon famous actor in Hollywood. The camera-work was lovely, the music was just okay and not very memorable, but overall I was left with the feeling that Adam Goldberg is quite talented but needs a great script to really soar.
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