Monday, May 7, 2001

I think the best place to start with this film is the cover of the video box. It's one of those things that, if left untalked about, will keep anyone from thinking about anything else. I know I had that problem with early reviews of Wonder Boys. "So, you say it's a great movie, but what the hell is the matter with that poster? Is he a child molester or what?" Committed faces a similar problem. Why is Heather Graham wearing skin-tight leather pants, sneering poorly, and thrusting her ring finger at me in an extremely agressive manner? The Brady Bunch font used for the credits on the box doesn't help either. Honestly, the cover prevented me from renting this video when I saw it at the store, and I probably would have avoided it on TV had I made the connection between title and cover. I'm not sure whether this is part of Heather Graham's elaborate plan to keep people from focusing on her physical appearance by contorting herself into unflattering poses at every opportunity, or if she is so unpleasant to be around that photographers routinely place her into horrible positions (I'm thinking here of the cover of Talk magazine, on which she squatted like a frog.)

Whew. Glad to get that out of the way.

So, once you make it past the box, this is a pretty good movie. Young woman gets married. Husband freaks out and disappears. She tracks him down, stalks him for a bit, befriends his new lover, then spends some more time following him until she learns to give up on the relationship. So far, nothing that I would rush to the theaters to see. But cast Luke Wilson as the husband and I'm contractually obligated to see it (I signed a contract with the Wilsons' parents saying I'd see anything their three boys do. Even Anaconda.)

And, just to make things more interesting, throw in Clea DuVall in a bit part as a lesbian friend. Fabulous. I can't get enough of Clea DuVall playing lesbians, which is fortunate, since neither can she, apparently. She's great. Luke Wilson is great. Casey Affleck continues to grow on me by leaps and bounds (just like a rash!). He's got all of his brother's "check it out, dude, I'm in a movie!" attitude, but without the somewhat disquieting fratboy vibe. I always get the impression that if I met Ben Affleck he'd shove me into a urinal and flush. Casey, though, would just mutter at me and eventually offer me a beer. Much better (and more hygenic!)

Which leaves us with the main character, portrayed by Heather Graham. She's all right, but this part is just a little much for her. They were going for a kind of funky bohemian type, and she just doesn't seem either funky or bohemian to me at all. She seems kinda prissy and not too bright. Maybe Clea and Heather could have switched roles. I'd buy Heather as a hipster lesbian if I only had to do it for ten minutes or so. But the film really spends a lot of time with her, and, honestly, I don't want to spend that much time with Heather Graham.

(It should be noted, at least in passing, that this movie has some AMAZING music courtesy of Calexico. If you don't see the movie, at least listen to the soundtrack.)

Rating: B (If only they hadn't put Heather Graham in it)

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
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