Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig is basically about a fat girl, Helen, and an attractive young man, Tom, who fall in love and it all ends in tears.
Seriously overweight girls are socially unacceptable. And so, I’m told, are even marginally overweight girls. What a world, eh? Fat slobs who are men are O.K., but let Read More
Neil LaBute wants to clear it up: The provocative, critically respected, commercially successful (sort of) writer-director whose controversial but acclaimed cinematic sexism called feminists to arms over In the Company of Men and Your Friends & Neighbors wants you to know he is not a misogynist. In his new film, The Shape of Things , Read More
The plays-the disturbingly fashionable plays-of Neil LaBute are problematic for me. Hailed as our leading dramatic voice by some discerning critics, Mr. LaBute’s youngish characters and jerks are nasty pieces of work in themselves: last season’s rock ‘n roll The Shape of Things , for instance, with its vile art student gleefully abusing her naïve, Read More
Sandra Nettelbeck’s Mostly Martha, from her own screenplay, is a minor miracle: a German movie that is at the same time a literally and figuratively delicious entertainment of prodigious charm, warmth and decency. Granted, this is a film that tells us absolutely nothing new about the problems that face us and is shamelessly hedonistic about Read More
Stoic and wooden as a totem, Clint Eastwood is back. In a time of need, he’s the man. Another serial killer is on the prowl, and the star, producer and director plays a retired F.B.I. profiler with a heart transplant who takes on the dirty job despite the obvious danger to his health, searching for Read More
People have been asking me when I’m going to publish my 10-best list for the movie year 2000, and I’ve been telling them I am still pondering my choices. This year was particularly difficult because so many worthy contenders had their release dates bunched together over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. I have been Read More
Neil LaBute’s Nurse Betty , from a screenplay by John C. Richards and James Flamberg, based on a story by Mr. Richards, shares a Pirandellian premise with Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), but the differences are more striking than the similarities. Whereas Mr. Allen invaded reality with the illusion of a movie Read More
Neil LaBute’s inarticulate, sick characters couldn’t be more fashionable, particularly when one of them–a white-trash child murderer–is played by America’s sweetheart, Calista Flockhart (who’s excellent, by the way).
The sicker, the better. After all, murder is no longer enough for Hannibal Lecter, and a little cannibalism never did a good psychopath any harm. So in Read More
Neil LaBute’s Your Friends and Neighbors confirms our suspicions that the misanthropic cutting edge of Mr. LaBute’s first film, In the Company of Men (1997), was no passing fancy. Mr. LaBute’s disenchantment with the corporate male of the species did indeed run deep on that occasion, but the men in Your Friends and Neighbors don’t Read More
The neurotic tango we call the mating game gets a high colonic in Your Friends and Neighbors , a second feature film by writer-director Neil LaBute, controversial creator of In the Company of Men . Dissecting intimate relationships is his primary focus, and he does it with a cynicism that can leave you suicidal with Read More