Author: Neil LaButte
Director: Neil LaButte
Incredible, powerful, disturbing film. This is an unadulterated look at evil, up close, and it’s designed to make you squirm. The plot is simple: a couple MBA-types, on a six-week business trip, pledge to take revenge on women as payment for all their own messed up relationships. They decide they’ll find a shy, lonely, unnoticeable woman, and each romance her for the next six weeks, and then, when she thinks she’s falling in love one or both of them, they’ll dump her like yesterday’s fish and laugh in her face. Bizarre concept, yes, but brilliantly executed. Author LaButte goes the extra mile to make us really realize what slimeballs these two guys are: the woman they toy with is deaf. Because she can’t speak clearly, one guy calls her “retard mouth” behind her back. That’s the kind of stuff you face in this movie. Tough, yes, but powerful and profound.
What’s deeply ironic to me is that if Neil hadn’t made the woman deaf, if she’d been a regular woman, perhaps not very attractive but not handicapped, would we have felt such a degree of disgust for these men? Is our outrage so intense because the woman is disabled, and thus a more sympathetic victim, or are we outraged out of principle? In other words, do we care about the person inside, regardless of the shell (flawed or intact)? If we saw this happening, like we do all the time around us (i.e. we know our co-worker’s cheating on his wife but we shrug it off), would we be as upset? Food for thought, lots of food for thought. Definitely one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Even more amazing, LaButte made this for $25,000, I have no idea how: it looks like a million dollar movie. Acting, sound, photography — everything is top notch. Impressive.