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Wristcutters: A Love Story

Do you want to read reviews of the latest new releases? Who doesn't, right?! Well, if you think that ol' Cinemavenger is going to an actual movie theater to see Tenet when the Rona is still raging or spending twenty bucks to rent Bill & Ted Face the Music at home, you can go fuck yourself.

"How can I help," you almost certainly didn't ask? Send Rotten Tomatoes a million messages demanding that they make Cinemavenger an official critic on their site. Because when that day comes, the studios might finally start sending me screeners, and I could bring to you, my faithful readers, new release reviews every week. Well, every week there's actually a new release, which given how well we're doing crushing Covid, will probably be some time in 2022.

Which brings us to this week's steaming, streaming offering, Wristcutters: A Love Story. If nothing else, Wristcutters proves my theory that, fuck what the calendar says, decades really run from five to five. Think about it. The first half of every decade feels a fuck ton more like the "last" decade than the current one. Flower children were still giving peace a chance in the early 70s. Greed (and cocaine) was still good well into the 90s. And Wristcutters is every inch a 90s indie flick even though it came out in Aught Six.

It stars indie darling Shannyn "Elizabeth" Sossamon. It features the whiskey-dripping gypsy punk of Gogol Bordello. Tom "White Satchmo" Waits, a staple of 90s indies, contributes his unique brand of acting and singing (you know, when a Joy Division song isn't playing). Even Ethan "Superfly" Suplee makes an appearance.

The premise, that suicides go to an afterlife very much like this one only a little worse, is pure indie twee. When Zia (Patrick "Fuck It" Fugit) opens his veins and ends up there, he gets a new best bud, a Russian named Eugene (Shae "Clancy" Whigham - pre-Boardwalk Empire). Zia then falls ass backward into a flirt with Sossamon's Mikal, your typical manic pixie dream girl who claims that she didn't kill herself and is thus there by mistake.

On their otherworldly road trip, our main characters . . . well, don't do too much. And then the movie just kind of fizzles out with the rarest of indie surprises, a happy ending.

Wristcutters won't talk you off the ledge, but it also won't have you knotting a noose.

September 18, 2020

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