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Human Nature (2002)

Tim Robbins , Patricia Arquette , Michel Gondry  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tim Robbins, Patricia Arquette, Rhys Ifans, Ken Magee, Sy Richardson
  • Directors: Michel Gondry
  • Writers: Charlie Kaufman
  • Producers: Anthony Bregman, Charlie Kaufman, Julie Fong, Spike Jonze, Ted Hope
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000714E6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,049 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Human Nature" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the creators of Being John Malkovich and starring Tim Robbins and Patricia Arquette comes a deliciously twisted film with biting dialogue wild twists and plenty of comic turns.Running Time: 96 min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: COMEDY UPC: 794043572623

This fascinating comedy questions what we mean when we use words like "nature" and "civilization." Lila (Patricia Arquette, Lost Highway, True Romance), a nature writer who grows hair all over her body, falls in love with Nathan (Tim Robbins, The Player, The Hudsucker Proxy), a scientist attempting to teach table manners to mice. While hiking in the woods, they discover Puff (Rhys Ifans, Notting Hill), a man raised in the wild since childhood, whom Nathan seizes as a test subject for his experiments--and soon these three, along with Nathan's French lab assistant (Miranda Otto) are embroiled in criss-crossed love affairs as they (and the audience) attempt to figure out what it means to be true to one's own nature. Though Human Nature isn't as surefooted as Being John Malkovich (which was also written by distinctive screenwriter Charlie Kaufman), it has moments of startling comic genius. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Human Nature Is Funny and Strange; So Is This Movie March 20, 2002
Remember "Being John Malkovich"? Charlie Kaufman, who wrote that strange movie, is the writer of "Human Nature," a strange but very intelligent film. This time the task of director is handed to Michel Gondry from France, famous for his music video clips made for Bjork ("Human Behavior" and others). But don't be put off by his profile because Gondry wisely avoids any flashy techiniques you might associate his MTV profile with. In fact, his fashion often seems very orthodox.
"Human Nature," Kaufman's newest produced film, deals with four persons trapped in a maze of love, or sexual desire (call it human nature) ... so to speak. As is the case with "Being John Malkovich," Kaufman's style easily defies our ready-made concept of movies, so I just tell you what you see. Tim Robbins (one of his best turn) is a scientist who spends his time trying to teach proper table manners to white mice. A nature writer Patricia Arquette, hairiest woman in the movie history, falls in love with him. Meanwhile, somewhere in the forest, a grown-up man (Rhys Ifans of "Notting Hill"), who believes that he is an ape, is found, and the Tim immediately got interested. He contemplates: "Let's educate him as a human." Well, after naming him "Puff," with a help of an electric collar and some nude photos, Dr. Robbins tries to 'cure' Puff of his nasty, die-hard habits of showing 'human nature' or sexual desire, explicitly in the public.
While the experiment proceeds, love relations got complicated as a famale assistant Gabrielle (played by wonderful Miranda Otto, seen in "Thin Red Line" and "What Lies Beneath," with too obvious French accent) is involved.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must See! December 11, 2002
While Hollywood continues to pump out uninteresting, action packed, technologically expensive fodder....movies that do nothing for you but leave you lighter in the pocketbook.........there comes along a group of directors who challenge the way you view films and think about them. Michel Gondry is one of them. He is a very creative director with tons of music videos to his credit. He has done music videos for artists such as Radiohead, Bjork, and Cibo Matto. If you've ever seen any of his work, you will know what I am referring to. He does not come up short with this film. If you enjoy watching films that entertain the mind, this film is a must see. I have been waiting a long time to see Human Nature and it was well worth the wait. This is instantly one of my favorite films. Rent it or buy it when you have the chance. --Other films that I recommend: 1. One Hour Photo by Mark Romanek -2. CQ by Roman Coppola -3. Sexy Beast by Jonathan Glazer -4. The Virgin Suicides by Sophia Coppola - & 5. Donnie Darko by Richard Kelly
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Kaufman shares his thoughts on "Human Nature" October 18, 2004
There is a point to what happens in "Human Nature," but the key things to remember are that (a) the point will never be made explicitly and (b) the point is up to the beholder. So if you need your points clearly and sharply made, then this film written by Charlie Kaufman is gong to befuddle you as much as anything he has ever written. Since that includes "Being John Malkovich," "Adaptation," "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," that would be a lot of befuddlement.

This film begins with the revelation that Nathan Bronfman (Tim Robbins) is dead, courtesy of a small round bullet hole in his forehead, and somewhere in the afterlife in a room where everything is white. In prison is Lila Jute (Patricia Arquette), and testifying before some Congressional committee is a nattily dressed but strangely bearded man named Puff (Rhys Ifans). Apparently there are issues about being "sorry" that this film will explain, but first we have to get up to speed on how this strange collection of characters came to be strange.

When Lila was 12 years old her hormones caused hair to grow all over her body. Tired of being "Queen Kong" in a side show she goes off into the wild, writes a best selling book with a disparaging view of humanity, and, tired of shaving all over all the time, uses the money to have electrolysis to try and remove her hair. Louise (Rosie Perez), who is doing the electrolysis, thinks she knows a guy who would be perfect for Lila. This would be Nathan.

Nathan is a scientist. As a boy he was taught the importance of table manners by his mother (Mary Kay Place) and father (Robert Forster). Failure to use the right fork for eating his salad meant the young boy was sent to his room without supper.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Planet of Patricia Arquette Naked December 20, 2002
By A Customer
I rented this movie recently betting that the many talented individuals involved would deliver an unusual and thought provoking movie. I was not disappointed. I think "Human Nature" is worth seeing. The movie follows the characters through a complex maze of human desire and repulsion, ultimately delivering an ending which is although not idyllic, truthful nonetheless.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's only "Human Nature" February 9, 2005
Men raised as apes. Mannered mice. Women with bad body hair days. Don't expect anything halfway normal in the ironically-titled "Human Nature," the first collaboration between the brilliant Michel Gondry and even more brilliant Charlie Kaufman. Forget style above substance -- this is a thinking man's comedy, quirky and utterly hilarious.

It opens with a dead man, a convicted woman, and a genteel simian-man all speaking of their pasts: Lila (Patricia Arquette) became horribly hirsute when she was a teen -- by twenty, she was "Queen Kong" in a sideshow. Miserable, she retreated to the woods and became a reknowned nature writer. During electrolysis treatment some years later, a nurse offers to set her up with a desperate guy: Nathan Bronfman (Tim Robbins), a manners-obsessed scientist who is teaching them to white mice.

One day in the woods, Lila and Nathan come across a feral young man they call Puff (Rhys Ifans) -- as explained early on, Puff's father thought he was an ape, and raised his son accordingly. Now Puff is being taught the ways of humanity, as Lila tries to preserve the more primitive things about human beings -- and a warped love triangle results.

Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman recently collaborated on the wonderful, poignant "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," so it's not surprising that their first joint film was also excellent. It's the sort of film that can't be easily pegged as one thing or another -- part comedy, part satire, part blinking question mark. Is it human nature to be naked and free, to be civilized and uptight, or does it lie somewhere in the middle? Are we just animals in clothes, or do humans have something more... or less? "Human Nature" doesn't answer all these questions, but it does make you think about them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved it then
Saw this movie in high school. Absolutely loved it then. The comedy still holds up 8 years later. Great smart comedy. I only there were more like this. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Jeremiah Nightingale
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Gem
Hidden Gem. Especially to Anthro-geeks.
Published 3 months ago by Oceanus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but a bit drawn out.
Charlie Kauffman's other movies are a bit more interesting. I purchased this because I so much enjoyed Eternal Sunshine and Synedoche, NY
Published 9 months ago by Sarah
3.0 out of 5 stars B Movie
Watching Patricia Arquette climbing trees in the jungle practically naked is about the best you can hope for out of this movie.
Published 9 months ago by Joseph Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars finalement je l'ai
J'ai cherché un peu partout, pour avoir ce film, enfin trouvé! Un très bon film, drôle avec une bonne leçon de vie sur la vraie nature des hommes, tout... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Chantal
2.0 out of 5 stars Very dissapointing
For a Michel Gondry movie (written by Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman) I was pretty bummed with this movie. I guess I expected a lot, because I'm such a huge Gondry fan. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Christopher Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars The cold, hard truth
This is a great film. It starts off slowly, but as it get further in, it becomes quite telling about the human condition. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Anton K
1.0 out of 5 stars Human Nature DVD
Said "Like New" but the box was torn on front and back, which it failed to mention. >:( Would not have purchased if I knew of the poor quality.
Published on July 3, 2012 by Mark Twain
1.0 out of 5 stars How can such talented people make such a poor film?
Directed by Michael Gondry (Science of Sleep, Eternal Sunshine) and written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), you'd think this would be a great film. Read more
Published on May 17, 2009 by Alan Starr
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny Zoophilia
Not The Beast, but a comedy on outcomes of lust and copulating at the beginning of the third millennium, where sex rules.
Published on February 15, 2009 by Michael Kerjman
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