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Movie Review: The Nines

The Nines
Written and directed by John August

The Nines is one of those existential films that ponder on God, or some version of God, in a sort of mind-trippy way.  I never really like movies that go overboard weird, where the movie starts breaking up into nonsequiter segments and you spend the rest of the movie trying to figure out what one of them means while another equally disconnected portion of the film asks you to plunk down for some LSD.

Luckily, The Nines doesn’t do that, but it’s only average.  Another viewing might make the film a little better, but at the very least, it will make you want to see where it goes.  That’s all you ask sometimes.

In this film, Ryan Reynolds plays three characters: an actor, a writer, and a family man.  Each of these characters are interacted with by his publicist, an actor friend, and his wife, all played by Gilmore Girls’ plus-sized cutie Melissa McCarthy.  And somewhere in all this is a woman who wants to break them up every chance she gets: a nextdoor neighbor, a producer, and a stranger, all played by Hope Davis.  The movie allows each of the three segments to play without interruption for the most part.

In the first part, Reynolds the actor gets in trouble and is sent to house arrest.  The publicist McCarthy warns him to stay out of trouble, and the neighbor Davis says McCarthy is no good and is trying to keep him from learning the truth about himself.  Then the second part has Reynolds writing a TV part for McCarthy and having the producer Davis say McCarthy isn’t working in test screenings, all captured in a reality show.  Finally, the film searches for answers off the beaten path when Reynolds, married to McCarthy and with daughter Elle Fanning in tow, break down on the side of the road.  Reynolds looks for help and runs into stranger Davis, and the cycle repeats.  So, we as the audience wonder, what the hell does Davis have against McCarthy anyway?

The film sets up some good segments and we see what August is going for.  The three leads are very good.  In the end, though, I wish there was more meat to this, some more “Oh!” moments, and maybe not so rigid a structure.  It might work better if there were more segments or, maybe just one full movie.  Either way, it’s an interesting film but it’s easily forgotten.

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