Hollywood is renowned for its exploration of various facets of love. "Wicker Park" displays a "love circle" style formula but adds some unexpected twists which keeps the movie from being too predictable.
Wicker Park was inspired by the French film "L'Appartement," which featured Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci. The current version stars Josh Hartnett as the shy Matthew who falls head over heals in love with a lovely dancer named Lisa (Diana Kruger). One day after a brief meeting with her, Lisa mysteriously disappears and Matthew is left broken hearted. In time Matthew moves on by taking a job as an investment banker and hooking up with a new girlfriend, Rebecca (local Montreal actress Jessica Paré). Mathew is led to believe that he has seen Lisa in a restaurant. This chance encounter sets Matthew off on an obsessive search to find her. As the story shifts back and forth through time, viewers are able to slowly piece together the turn of events which caused the couple to drift apart. Several clues set the journey in motion as Matthew becomes determined to find his way back to Lisa once again. Matt's friend Luke (Matthew Lillard) enters the picture along with Alex (Rose Byrne) to complicate the plot.
Josh Hartnett's performance in this film is fairly good. His portrayal of a shy guy who is helplessly in love is convincing but a tad inconsistent at times. Matthew Lillard's role of Luke stands out for his ability to play a character who is fun to watch. He is credited for some amusing dialogue as well and brings a touch of light heartedness to this psychological drama. The talented Rose Byrne is interesting to watch as she plays a dualistic role. I had the chance to briefly meet her during a television interview in New York a few months back and she really seems like a nice and down to earth young lady. To see her play a manipulative role with such conviction shows that she has great potential to succeed in this industry. Another noteworthy mention is that much of the film was shot in Montreal. While the movie is a bit slow paced at times, the director keeps the story from becoming a bore by adding some unexpected twists to the plot. Just when you think you've got it figured out, the story goes in another direction.
Special DVD Features:
-Commentary by director Paul McGuigan and Josh Hartnett
-"Against All Odds" music video
-Original theatrical trailer