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"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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished 16 months ago by Just Ben
Charlie Kauffman's other movies are a bit more interesting. I purchased this because I so much enjoyed Eternal Sunshine and Synedoche, NYPublished on January 19, 2014 by Sarah
Watching Patricia Arquette climbing trees in the jungle practically naked is about the best you can hope for out of this movie.Published on January 12, 2014 by Joseph Jenkins
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 morePublished on June 4, 2013 by Chantal
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 morePublished on May 10, 2013 by Christopher Hart
This is a great film. It starts off slowly, but as it get further in, it becomes quite telling about the human condition. Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by Anton K