One You Might've Missed #06: The Shape Of Things


by: Nathan

Finding diamonds in the rough is a wonderful feeling, but in order to do so, you usually have to watch a lot of bad movies. takes the pain away by recommending a movie that you may have never heard of, or missed when it first came out.

The Shape of Things is one of the best relationship movies, and unlike any I’ve ever seen. It’s unfortunate, but it seems that many have missed out on this little gem. Without giving too much away, I will say that it is slightly darker than you might expect it to be. If that sentence appealed to you, definitely check this film out.

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Evelyn is taking pictures of a statue that was deemed pornographic and has been altered to be less offensive. Adam works at the art museum and attempts to step in after Evelyn crosses the velvet rope. Adam is a little dorky and has no real authority and can only simply plead with her to at least wait to cross the velvet rope until after his shift. The two strike up a very interesting conversation and appear to be slightly fascinated with the other. Both are college students with opposing views. Adam is more practical and unsure and Evelyn is free spirited and confident. The conversation is awkward and charming at the same time. I believe the opening scene is symbolic of some of the points that writer and director Neil Labute is addressing throughout about people interacting with each other, specifically the opposite sex.

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Labute originally wrote this for the stage and has re-teamed his cast for the film version. All the actors do a terrific job! Rachel Weisz and Paul Rudd play the two leads very convincingly. Gretchen Mol and Fred Weller play a couple who are best friends with Rudd’s character and can’t understand the change in him and his new relationship with Evelyn. The actors have a natural chemistry with one another. One could attribute most of the credit to the writing, which is true, but with the wrong actors the material could have been butchered. My one complaint is that they might tend to overact the parts, which would be suitable for their stage production, however for film they need to tone it down just a pinch. Rachel Weisz is the stand out of the group who gives an incredibly performance embodying her character with ease and strength.

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The Shape of Things is completely character and dialogue driven consisting of only a handful of scenes that are well lit and confined in areas that won’t deter the audience from the actors. The story is a fascinating look at relationships and what we as people are willing to compromise and change for the better or worse for one’s whom we love or think we love. I love the concept of this story, which isn’t fully realized by the audience until it’s almost literally thrown in your face at the end of the movie. Every time I watch this I have a smile on my face throughout. It is void of a non-engaging moment and is done simply with dialogue. Again, I don’t want to give too much away so I urge all to see and be patient. I think it raises interesting conversation and perspective on relationships better than I have seen before. The velvet rope from the beginning represents our own morals and manners as humans even if it isn’t necessarily a law. Do we cross that line or respectfully keep at bay?

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