Curtis Hanson’s Wonder Boys, an immensely enjoyable light-hearted dramedy, is completely antithetical to the ones sandwiching it – the terrific modern noir L.A. Confidential and the brutal underground hip-hop flick 8 Mile. Though filled with characters with completely messed up personal lives – a shaggy middle-aged professor Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas) going through a severe case of writer’s block, a young student (Tobey Maguire) who happens to be a compulsive liar and a closet prodigy, a PYT (Katie Holmes) besotted with Grady, an editor (Robert Downey Jr.) who’s career depends on Grady completing his much awaited book, and the university Chancellor (Frances McDormand) going through mid-life crisis and in an extra-marital affair with Grady – and told over a particularly messed up weekend, the movie, however, is far from being one itself. Douglas, as a cynical but otherwise likeable individual whose only way seems to downhill, is the most impressive among its well-rounded cast. Filled with sharp wit, wry humour and bittersweet moments, the quirky movie deserves wider appreciation than it has received. And the OST, by the way, boasts of a great original number by Bob Dylan - played during the beginning as well as end credits.
Director: Curtis Hanson Genre: Comedy/Drama/Coming of Age Language: English Country: US