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What's the story?
WICKER PARK centers around Matt (Josh Hartnett), an executive who has recently returned to Chicago after two years away. He has a good job and is about to propose to his girlfriend, who conveniently happens to be the sister of his boss. The three of them are at a swanky restaurant, having lunch with important clients to celebrate a deal Matt is about to close in China. Matt's girlfriend slips him some pills to help him sleep on the plane and he swallows them at the restaurant. Then he hears the voice of a woman on the phone and the last two years seem to evaporate. It sounds like the voice of Lisa (Diane Kruger), the woman who broke his heart. Flashback time. Matt is a sweet, shy, artistic guy working in a photography store. He glimpses a face on a videotape brought into his store for repair. And then he sees the same woman across the street. He follows her. He meets her at his best friend's shoe store, pretending to be a salesman. He orders the black shoes with red soles in her size. They fall in love. And then...well, we don't find out what happened then for a while as the movie shifts back and forth between the past and present and between different characters' points of view.
Is it any good?
Wicker Park is a dopey thriller that sets up an intriguing puzzle and a nicely spooky vibe and then spoils it all. It ends up explaining too much and having that explanation be both achingly obvious and sometimes unintentionally hilarious, retroactively dissipating any creepiness created earlier and dumb-ifying the entire story even further. It's one of those movies that depends on its characters' inability to make a phone call or ask a question to straighten things out.
Matthew Lillard flounders in an attempt to play Matt's best friend. Rose Byrne as a mystery woman who shares Matt's girlfriend's name and shoes is slightly more interesting than the drippy character she plays, but her efforts to play Viola/Cesario in Twelfth Night (a character in disguise who does not tell her love, get it?) are simply dreadful. Harnett and Kruger move through the story like sleepwalkers who hope they won't wake up until the movie is over. I know how they feel.
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