Dir Jean-Marc Vallée, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts

A tiresome film. It started interestingly enough: a man loses his wife suddenly, is unable to grieve and feels alienated from his luxurious life. The minutiae of life and truth-telling become increasingly significant to him. But then, through his rambling letters to a vending machine company – big suspension of disbelief required here – he becomes entangled in the life of the customer service employee who replies to him. After some clichéd larking about on a beach and a bit of house-wrecking with her troubled son, he begins to feel human again.

The demolition metaphor is laboured (taking things to pieces to be made whole again), and the film relies too much on an indigestible mixture of kookiness and sentimentality. I connected with my inner child and blew a raspberry at this one.

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