Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4
WICKER PARK stars Josh Hartnett and Diane Kruger, two excruciatingly
lightweight actors with zero chemistry, as lovers Matthew and Lisa. Although
Kruger looks just like the equally weak Shannyn Sossamon, Harnett's costar in
40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS, Kruger was last seen as the "face that launched a
thousand ships" in TROY. As Lisa's friend Alex, Rose Byrne (also from TROY) is
given what should be the meatiest role in this concealed identity story, but
her performance will leave you as cold as the constant snow outside. Why this
winter movie, set in a snowy Chicago, gets released in the waning days of
summer is a mystery worth pondering.
What isn't worth many of your brain cells is trying to figure out this
convoluted picture which relies on a series of twists upon twists in the second
half to make amends for the lame first part. If the story's complex plot
always seems more promising than the movie itself, it is probably because the
film is a remake of a much more successful French film called L'APPARTEMENT.
To the extent that WICKER PARK works at all, it is because of a small but
scene-stealing performance by Matthew Lillard as Luke, Matthew's best buddy.
The eminently likable and extremely funny Luke has trouble finding and keeping
a girlfriend, while charisma-challenged Matthew has several women wanting him,
including Rebecca (Jessica Paré) with whom he is "nearly engaged." Lillard's
best work here occurs in an inevitable scene toward the picture's end when true
identities are revealed. With his delicious reaction shots, he is a riot in
The best part of the movie is that it makes you want to go rent the original.
WICKER PARK runs way too long at 1:51. It is rated PG-13 for "sexuality and
language" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes