Directed by Paul McGuigan, starring Josh Hartnett, Diane Kruger, Matthew Lillard, Rose Byrne, Jessica Pare and Brandon Boyce.
The trailer for 'Wicker Park' indicates that it may be a dark, edgy thriller along the lines of 'Single White Female'. Before you go to the cinema on false pretences, let me assure you that it most definitely is not. For this remake of Gilles Mimouni's stylish 1996 film 'L'Appartement', director Paul McGuigan concentrates on the love story, abandoning the murder plot in the original. Unfortunately enough of it remains to thoroughly confuse the audience.
Stalking is 'Wicker Park's poor substitute for murder and the main characters are either doing it or are the subject of it in a story that unfolds in a tortuously convoluted manner. Former teen hunk Josh Hartnett plays Matthew, the man whose messy love life is at the centre of the film. A successful advertising agent, he's on his way to the top with a good job, a great girlfriend and a ticket for an important business trip to Shanghai in his pocket. But when he catches sight of a woman that reminds him of his lost love Lisa (Kruger), a professional dancer who disappeared two years earlier, he abandons his perfect life to find her.
En route, Matthew enlists the help of his old friend, shoe salesman Luke (Lillard), who happens to be seeing a capricious actress called Alex (Byrne) who has her own connection to the situation. It's a coincidence too far amidst this film's demented series of flashbacks and intersecting narrative threads that unspool too rapidly and then go on too long.
McGuigan employs some interesting directorial tricks - cutting the screen so that stairs resemble an Escher print, using mirrors to echo the dislocation of his hero - but none of these can cover up the fact that 'Wicker Park' is simply not as exciting as it should be.