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Love Liza

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Love Liza

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kathy Bates
Director: Todd Louiso
Rated: R
RunTime: 93 Minutes
Release Date: February 2002
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Stephen Tobolowsky, Jack Kehler

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

Todd Louiso's LOVE LIZA is a depressing and fairly pointless movie about Wilson Joel (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a man who develops a severe drug addiction after his wife, Liza, commits suicide. Although he's willing to huff gasoline if that's all that's available, Wilson's poison of choice is remote-controlled model airplane fuel. He's a generous guy who's willing to share whatever flammables he has with the local teenage huffers.

Basically a one-person vehicle, the movie wastes Kathy Bates (ABOUT SCHMIDT) in a throwaway supporting role as Liza's mom. Hoffman, who was so terrific recently in 25TH HOUR, which should win him a supporting actor nomination if the Academy has half a brain, isn't able to do anything with his character this time.

The only significant subplot concerns a suicide letter that Liza left for Wilson. He spends most of the movie carrying it conspicuously while refusing to open it. When, eventually, he does read it, it is as big a letdown as is the rest of the story.

LOVE LIZA runs 1:33. It is rated R for "drug use, language and brief nudity" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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