HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mission, The
Wild Life, The
Eve of Destruction
Mad Death, The
Lost in Vagueness
Sleeping Beauty
Allure
In Search of Dracula
Fantastic Woman, A
Emmanuelle II
Far from Vietnam
Inherit the Wind
Post, The
King Frat
Commuter, The
Mister Buddwing
Kiki's Delivery Service
Z-O-M-B-I-E-S
Mansfield 66/67
Old Enough
Bleeding Steel
Double Hour, The
My Generation
Geostorm
Pendulum
Certain Magical Index: The Movie - The Miracle of Endymion, A
That Good Night
Psychopath, The
My Beloved Bodyguard
.44 Specialist, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
   
 
  Human Nature Manners Maketh The ManBuy this film here.
Year: 2001
Director: Michel Gondry
Stars: Patricia Arquette, Tim Robbins, Rhys Ifans, Miranda Otto, Robert Forster, Mary Kay Place, Rosie Perez, Miguel Sandoval, Peter Dinklage, Hilary Duff, Toby Huss
Genre: Comedy, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lila (Patricia Arquette) has a hormonal condition that causes thick hair to grow all over her body, and seeing herself with no place in society, lives in the forest, where she becomes a best-selling writer. Nathan (Tim Robbins) is a scientist who is obsessed with manners, and is teaching mice how to behave at the table. Into both their lives comes a man (Rhys Ifans) who has grown up in the wilderness, believing himself to be an ape, and when all three of them meet up, the stage is set for tragedy.

After Charlie Kaufman wrote Being John Malkovich, he scripted this absurd variation on The Wild Child, and as with Malkovich, a celebrated director of music videos, Michel Gondry, was hired to adapt it. But Human Nature didn't have the impact that the previous film or Kaufman's next scripted films had, perhaps because, on the surface, it is even stranger than them and, ultimately, cultivates and ambiguous attitude to the benefits of culture and sophistication. Or maybe not enough people went to see it, which is a pity, because the excellent comic acting alone makes this very entertaining.

All the characters are guided by their basic instincts, whether they admit it or not. Lila returns to civilisation because she is "horny" and is paired up with her beautician's brother Nathan, who is a 35-year-old virgin with a tiny penis. Lila keeps her body hair condition secret from Nathan thanks to regular shaving, and when they meet the wild man on a forest trip Nathan sees the opportunity for a grand new experiment. Can the wildman, now named Puff, be taught how to behave in polite society?

The answer is yes, to a point, although the other characters show that humanity might not be all it's cracked up to be. The film has a sentimental view of nature, showing it to be unpretentious and pure through, for example, Lila's musical number in the woods, or the duplicity of the civilised characters. One thing that is clear is that lying is an inescapable part of being human; we see this when Nathan begins an affair with his assistant Gabrielle (Miranda Otto), but keeps it secret from Lila when he finds out about her condition.

Another thing that emerges is that society punishes its inhabitants when they don't behave in the agreed manner, be it using the wrong fork, wanking in public or as extreme an act as murder. Puff struggles with his animal side, as he is presented as a learned wonder of science when he is secretly addicted to porn and prostitutes. And when the story has drawn to a close, we see that once you are educated, once you have your self awareness, you can never lose it, for better or worse. It's an oddly melancholy note to finish on, but you would have trouble disagreeing with it, even if the rest of the film may not convince you that nature is better than knowledge and understanding. Or is it all self-delusion? Music by Graeme Revell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7837 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michel Gondry  (1964 - )

French musician-turned-film-maker who made his name directing innovative videos for the likes of Bjork, Massive Attack and The White Stripes, as well as a variety of TV commercials. His first feature film was 2001's surreal comedy Human Nature, written by Charlie Kaufman. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, co-written with Kaufman and starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, was his next project, a success that was not matched by The Science of Sleep which Gondry wrote himself. Be Kind Rewind was a charming comedy that only won cult acclaim, but superhero spoof The Green Hornet was a surprise hit in light of the grumpy reaction it received. Adaptation of cult novel Mood Indigo proved more difficult to find its audience, though coming of age yarn Microbe & Gasoline was more conventional.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
   

 

Last Updated: