Wristcutters: A Love Story-one would think by the title it would be tragic and depressing. I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh way this odd and quirky love story unfolded. I pushed play as a skeptic and by the time I pushed stop I was a believer! It is by no means funny in a laugh out loud way, but amusing in its own bittersweet way.
It does have a dark core to its story of suicide and lost love, but underneath it has an uplifting message of hope and redemption-one that stayed with me long after I had watched the movie.
The main character, Zia (played by the handsome Patrick Fugit) has a hard break-up with his girlfriend Desiree (Leslie Bibb) and commits suicide by (you guessed it) cutting his wrists. Instead of Heaven or Hell, he awakens to find himself in a limbo that is reserved for everyone who has committed suicide.
Zia soon finds out that Desiree missed him so much that she too committed suicide and sets off on a journey to find her. This journey leads him to befriend a Russian rocker name Eugene (Shea Whigham) who lives with his family who have all killed themselves as well. They set out on a road trip in Eugene’s beat up clunker of a car (complete with a tape deck AND a wormhole portal underneath the passenger seat) in the stark landscape where even the stars won’t shine.
Soon Zia and Eugene’s path cross with Mikal (quirky Shannyn Sossamon) who is in search of someone in charge to complain that there has been a mistake and she should not be there. The characters unite together on the journey that ultimately leads them to Kneller’s (Tom Waits) “camp”, which is in essence a magical commune of outcasts. Kneller welcomes them and urges them to stay as long as they wish.
Kneller is a guru of sorts and has to go up against a rival guru “The Messiah” (Will Arnett) to defend his camp. Arnett’s character could almost be considered a cameo, but it is a fun part and he plays it well. Eugene even falls in love at Kneller’s camp with a Inuit throat singer named Nanuk (Mikal P. Lazarev).
The story is full of messages: miracles only happen when one doesn’t expect them; suicide solves nothing-or does it; and most importantly don’t drop your keys under Eugene’s passenger seat and if you do-hang on for the ride of your life!