The Sundance Film Festival is in full swing, with the days chock full of screenings and celebrity sightings (Ryan Reynolds, Kate Mara, and Josh Radnor, to name a few). I've been giving you recaps of the films I've been lucky enough to check out, and here's my take on yet another, Sympathy For Delicious.
- Who's behind it? Mark Ruffalo makes his directorial debut and stars in the film, with Orlando Bloom, Laura Linney, Juliette Lewis and Christopher Thornton rounding out the cast.
- What's it about? Thornton stars as Dean, a once-respected DJ (named "Delicious D") who has lost his way since becoming paralysed. Angry at the world and living out of his car, Dean's life takes a dramatic turn when he realises his mysterious ability to heal people of various ailments. His gift is at first exploited by a priest looking to raise money for the church, but Dean quickly learns that he can pocket the cash himself if he takes matters into his own hands.
So, is it any good?
- What did I think? I had high hopes for the film when I first heard about it, but there's not much to love about this one. The story line is contrived, and often boring. It's meant to be a tale of faith, peace and self-understanding, but the themes are too heavy-handed and lacking in emotional depth. Many of the players are one-dimensional caricatures, particularly Orlando Bloom as the incredibly cliched singer in a rock band. Thornton gives a convincing performance as cynical, frustrated Dean, but without any background on what Dean was like before his circumstances changed, it's hard to connect to him or even care about what happens to the character. Here's hoping that Ruffalo will try, try again—because his first attempt behind the camera doesn't quite succeed.