- Arkansas voter ID law struck down by state judge
- FDA proposes ban on e-cigarette sales to minors
- Bad omen? Italian man crushed to death by John Paul II crucifix
- Company stopped from accepting abortion waste
- Girl surprises Michelle Obama with unemployed dad’s resume
- ‘Harry Potter’ religion class seeks to enlighten students on ‘God, sin, and theodicy’
- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
Sad boy Hartnett cries us a river
Nobody can well up with tears quite like Josh Hartnett. The Minnesota native, dubbed the next big thing but lacking the resume to prove it, can bawl with the best of ‘em, thanks to his dark chocolate eyes and the sundae-syrup lashes.
He proves it once more in “Wicker Park,” a mystery romance out to settle the actor’s box-office mettle once and for all.
Too bad this week’s preview audience had unofficially renamed the film “Snicker Park” by the final reel, chuckling at major plot turns as if it were a Farrelly brothers romp.
Based on the 1996 French feature “L’Appartement,” “Wicker Park” begins with some nifty plot tricks but devolves into standard pedestrian storytelling — explaining everything away before we could connect the dots ourselves.
How very, very American.
The exposition leaves the film’s threadbare plot devices exposed for all to see, and it’s not a pretty sight.
Mr. Hartnett stars as Matthew, a young man about to jet off to China for a big work assignment. As if that weren’t enough stress, he’s also engagement-ring shopping for his girlfriend, the sister of his boss.
His emotional turmoil has only just begun.
Director Paul McGuigan intersperses the present with snatches of a foggy past in which Matthew chases a beautiful dance instructor named Lisa (the luminescent Diane Kruger), whom he fell for at first sight.
Lisa, we learn, disappeared from Matthew’s life two years earlier after a torrid romance, and he’s never fully put back the pieces of his shattered heart.
Now, believing he sees glimpses of her, he sets out to solve the mystery of where she is and why she left so abruptly in the first place.
Stalking never seemed so gosh-darned romantic.
Lending a dubious helping hand is Luke (Matthew Lillard), Matthew’s pal who proves equal parts sounding board and comic relief, a trait the all dour-all-the-time Mr. Hartnett certainly needs to enliven his earnest performance.
The romantic threads coalesce soon enough, though, and “Wicker Park” begins its descent toward B-movie banality.
Mr. McGuigan trots out an array of cinematic devices to smooth over the bumpy narrative, some of which work while other moments smack of pretension.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Holder cancels appearance in OKC amid angry protests
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- HURT: President Obama's 'Selfie Doctrine'
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014