Wicker Park (2004)

wicker park

“When you see something from afar, you develop a fantasy. But when you see it up close, 9 times out of 10, you wish you hadn’t.”

The Scoop: 2004 PG-13, directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Sleepy Tree Sloth, Rose Byrne, and Matthew Lillard

Tagline: Passion never dies.

Summary Capsule: Man flushes personal and professional life down the toilet because he thinks he saw someone he used to lust after.

Sue’s rating: To stalk, or not to stalk, that is the question.

Sue’s review: Let me tell you a story. I wrote it all by myself. Violate my copyright and I’ll bust you in the chops. Capische?

Once upon a time, in an enchanted kingdom, a little boy was born. Everyone who saw the little boy understood that he was destined for great and wonderful things. It wasn’t anything that anyone could put their finger on, but they knew it all the same. “He is special!” the townsfolk commented to each other. “Perhaps one day, he will save the world!”

In time, as happens, the little boy grew into a strong young man. In his heart, he also knew that he was destined for great and wonderful things. It wasn’t anything that he could put his finger on, but he knew it all the same. “I am special!” he realized. “Perhaps one day, I will save the world!”

Over time, he experienced many strange and mysterious circumstances that he did not understand. He investigated these strange and mysterious circumstances with a brave and earnest heart, knowing that his destiny was perhaps at hand.

He got a job as an assistant manager at Arby’s and lived contentedly ever after.

Did you like my little story? If you did, then you’re going to love Wicker Park!

I have a certain well-documented fondness for Josh “Sleepy Tree Sloth” Hartnett, so I am one of the thirteen or so people nation-wide who actually saw Wicker Park in a movie theater. We’re going to start a club. Well, more of a therapy group really.

Of course, as a Mutant, my intention was to write up a review of it in a timely manner, send it in to Fearless Leader who would exclaim over my brilliance and post it with a garnish of gold leaves and cherub fountains, wherein it would then be venerated by mortals around the world for all time. The problem is, every time I began thinking about the intricacies of Wicker Park‘s plot, I started to nod off and had to go lie down for a while.

But I’m going to get it done this time for….ya-awn…. for sure.

Wicker Park tells the tale of a young man, engaged to a beautiful (and rich) woman, and on the fast track to serious success in the business world. On the same day he’s supposed to board a plane for China for some corporate wheeling and dealing, he ducks into a phone booth and catches a whiff of familiar perfume. Thus faced with [i]irrefutable[/i] evidence that his long-lost love is in the vicinity and with the serendipitous gift (ha!) of a scrap of paper with a motel room number written on it, he skips his flight, skips out on his fiancee and goes directly into creepy stalker mode. (I don’t think he’s supposed to come across as creepy necessarily, but there’s no such thing as an un-creepy stalker.) Will he get the girl? Will he get a restraining order? Stay tuned, campers!

There are three fundamental problems with Wicker Park, if I may be so bold. The first is that no character in manages to merit much in the way of sympathy or even polite commiseration. The second is that some of the twists and turns are somewhat reminiscent of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, except that it’s not (and isn’t supposed to be) funny. Third, it’s boring.

Wicker Park has ambition. It wants to be exciting one moment and moody the next. (Hartnett can do moody. Exciting? Eh, not so much.) It wants to challenge your mind. It wants to point in the air and shout, “Hey! Is that the Hindenburg?”, then pick your pockets while you’re looking up, you stupid sucker. It’s just not quite cool enough, smart enough or daring enough to succeed.

But for all you insomniacs out there, have I got a cure for you!

Ze tree sloth stands next to his portrait. Isn't that cute?
Ze tree sloth stands next to his portrait. Isn’t that cute?


  • Wicker Park is a remake of L’Appartement. I hope that version was better.

Groovy Quotes

Matthew’s Boss (About a business trip to China): Come on, you’re going to be fine. Just don’t eat anything that wears a collar, and if you need me, I’ll be on a beach in Cozumel screening my calls.

Matthew: When you see something from afar, you develop a fantasy. But when you see it up close, 9 times out of 10, you wish you hadn’t.

Matthew: Things don’t have to be extraordinary to be beautiful, even the ordinary can be beautiful.
Lisa: Take my picture. I’m feeling beautiful tonight.

Alex: Love makes you do crazy things, insane things. Things in a million years you’d never see yourself do. But there you are doing them… can’t help it.

If you liked this movie, try these:

  • Counting sheep
  • A warm glass of milk
  • Watching paint dry

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