Combustible Celluloid
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With: Robin Wright Penn, Abdellatif Kechiche, Elodie Bouchez, Sandra Oh
Written by: Jeff Stanzler
Directed by: Jeff Stanzler
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 83
Date: 09/10/2005

Sorry, Haters (2006)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Arabian Plights

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

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Jeff Stanzler (Jumpin' at the Boneyard) directed this ambitious but seriously confused social commentary stemming from 9/11. A white, female TV executive, Phoebe (Robin Wright Penn) gets into a cab driven by Ashade (Abdellatif Kechiche). Phoebe makes the cabbie drive her out to a house in New Jersey so she can cry over her ex-husband and his new lover (Sandra Oh). After her trip, she learns that Ashade is taking care of his beautiful sister-in-law (Elodie Bouchez) while trying to get her husband, his brother, out of Guantanamo. Sorry, Haters makes a point of noting that both brothers are educated and responsible, but at the same time paints Ashade as sexless, unable to make advances either toward the sister-in-law or toward Phoebe. Meanwhile, this screwed-up woman offers to help Ashade, but Stanzler decides he wants to make a puzzle-box movie in addition to a social commentary, and he lets one element slide while he concentrates on the other. He gives us a long, "nothing is as it seems" sequence that negates the entire first half, and finishes it all off with a ludicrous, mystifying finale. "It makes you think," is an appropriate description, but about what? And why?

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