STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Hope
Davis, Melissa McCarthy, Dahlia Salem, David Denman, Octavia Spencer, Ben
2007, 98 Minutes, Directed by:
the surface The Nines appears to be an anthology film. It ostensibly
tells the story first of a down-on-his-luck actor (Ryan Reynolds) confined to
house arrest after a drug binge, and then about a scriptwriter (Reynolds again)
who has to ditches an actress friend from his planned TV series in order for the
show to go ahead. In the third and final segment Reynolds is a loving husband
whose family gets stranded by the side of the road and he has to find a cell
phone signal to call a tow truck.
The same actors appear over and
over again as different characters in the seemingly unrelated stories which is
of course a clue that the various stories and their layers of meaning are all
connected somehow as the viewer will come to suspect. However, to be honest the
way in which they are connected is a bit of a cheat – a metaphysical sleight of
hand that veers the movie straight into sci-fi territory, probably Philip K.
Dick country . . .
The ending may a cop out, but
The Nines is still an intriguing enough directorial effort by John
August, who supplied the screenplays for movies such as
The Corpse Bride, Titan
AE and Big Fish. The Nines reminds one a bit of
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in that
there is an autobiographical undertone to The Nines. One gets the feeling
that the film is actually inspired by real events in the screenwriter’s life,
whereas most of today’s movies seem to be complete impersonal fabrications.
The cast is pretty good, but
casting Ryan Reynolds was a mistake though. He does a pretty decent job, but the
reality is that The Nines is the sort of film that won’t appeal to the
actor’s fan base. If you rented The Nines expecting another Good Luck
Chuck type of comedy you’d most likely be disappointed. In fact this is the
sort of movie that would probably appeal to the actor’s detractors – a low-key
and intelligent sci-fi drama which, while it may never live up to its own
premise, is recommended to the serious-minded SF buff who seeks a respite from
all the brain-dead Hollywood special effects genre offerings out there.
Sci-Fi Movie Page Pick:
As one user on Amazon.com, who gave The Nines a low rating, puts it: “I
rented this movie because I love Ryan Reynolds, but the movie was really
disappointing. It was so complicated that I only watched it because of
Ryan's good looks.” Now if that isn’t a recommendation to check this movie
out, then we don’t know what is . . .