Monday, December 20, 2010

A Buffet of Men in "Brief Conversations With Hideous Men"

Watching John Krasinski's "Brief Conversations With Hideous Men" was like sitting through a male segment of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues". As I really wanted an insight on what makes men tick, I sat up and listened carefully.

The movie follows the research of Sara (Julianne Nicholson), graduate student, who after being suddenly dumped by his pianist boyfriend (John Krasinski) decides to undertake a new research topic on the desires and dreams of men! Once she gets the nod from her professor (Timothy Hutton), she begins compiling anecdotes from different guys. This started with a guy who, at the point of orgasm, involuntarily shouts "Victory for the Forces of Democratic Freedom" (or something like that). He denies being political, but his scatological habit has cost him a lot of sexual relationships. Meanwhile, an ardent student Daniel (Dominic Cooper of "Mamma Mia") wants a thorough critique on his paper - which tackles rape and the contradictory outcome of salvation. When Sara balks at the premise, Daniel shouts, "What if I was the one (who was raped)? Would that change your opinion?"

Sara's boyfriend, Ryan, explains why he cheated, and though the explanation doesn't exactly impress me, Krasinski's performance is nothing short of brilliant. I am so used to his comedic side ("The Office") that seeing him on a more serious note is ultimately rewarding.

My favorite bit is the part of the old black guy who explains to Sara why he doesn't wear white. He was told the story of his departed father who, when he was a child, worked as a toilet concierge for the rich. He would stand by the door trying not to be noticed, then bear witness as rich men do their "most elemental" needs. As the story comes to its conclusion, the younger man is shown standing in front of the narrating older guy, doing a duologue together. I loved the theatrical staging. Clocking in at 80 minutes, this unique piece of work is insightful, thought provoking and entertainingly informative. I am sure there is a piece of these men in my father, brother, boyfriend, cousin, and guy friends. Wouldn't you wanna know?

I'd consider this a must-see!

Scatological habit.

Julianne Nicholson and Chris Messina

What didn't you like in my paper, asked Daniel (Dominic Cooper).

Josh Charles does his rehearsed break-up piece to one of the several girls.

Lou Taylor Pucci and Max Minghella

John Krasinski wrote the script and directed the movie which scored a Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance.

John Krasinski, at 6'3", is the shortest among his siblings who stand 6'6" and 6'10". It took him 2 years to finish the movie. Though, in his interview, he admits that writing scripts and directing isn't really his thing, he felt he needed to work on this project.

Chris Messina flubs his pick up line when he is drunk.

Christopher Meloni is subject # 3 who takes on the eternally hopeful girl waiting by the airport.


Dominic Cooper smolders as Daniel. He wanted Sara to appreciate his essay which romanticized rape. What if he was the victim? "Mamma Mia"! Looking so handsome here.

Max Minghella is the part-time waiter who philosophizes women with his buddy. I love that accent and deep baritone.

Bobby Cannavale is subject # 40, the amputee who uses his "stump" to lure sympathizing girls in his bedroom.

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