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The Shape of Things (2003)

Gretchen Mol , Paul Rudd , Neil LaBute  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gretchen Mol, Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz, Fred Weller
  • Directors: Neil LaBute
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS ES), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2003
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JMBQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,172 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Shape of Things" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Feature Commentary with Director Neil LaBute and Paul Rudd
  • The Shape of Things From Stage to Screen: An Introduction by Neil LaBute
  • Welcome to Mercy College
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Recommendations

  • Editorial Reviews

    Writer/director Neil LaBute (Possession, Your Friends & Neighbors) has created another boldly original movie that is as fascinating as it is unsettling. When nerdy Adam (Paul Rudd) meets Evelyn (Rachel Weisz), a sexy and confrontational art student, his predictable life seems to change overnight. But when Adam's brash best friend, Phil (Fred Weller), and his fiancee, Jenny (Gretchen Mol), meet Evelyn, the sparks begin to fly. Phil doesn't like the new Adam, while Jenny seems a little too interested in Adam's new look. Soon everyone is caught in a circle of passion, temptation and betrayal that is oddly funny and totally unexpected.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    By A Customer
    A top-notch movie that not only puts the fear in you about the relationship you are in but makes you question your motives in the process. Every thing in this film puts in question the power struggles we face in the relationships we are in and makes us face ourselves as human beings. Neil LaBute not only creates a movie that so exposes the nerves and muscles of relationships, but exposes the hypocrisy of the society they dwell in as well. Rachel Weisz not only floors you with her powerful performance as Evelyn but also makes you question your own morality in the process by her character view of the world. No one is innocent in this movie, and even though Evelyn may seem immoral, she might also be the most moral character of the entire film because she at least does not hide her views of the world. Which makes her sort of a beacon of truth, even though her views are as disturbing as they are immoral.
    I dare anyone to not come out of this film a different person that the one who started to watch it. It will not only blow you away but floor you as well with it's ending.
    Thank you Neil Labute and Rachel Weisz for such breathtaking and powerful movie.
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    By Ann
    The Shape of Things is one of those films whose ambition is greater than its achievement. It clearly provokes thought but to what price? The film had the potential to be a brilliant exploration of the morality of art and contemporary culture, but as it stands, LaBute's vision is challening, piquant, overly simplistic, and frequently just tonally off. Still, two days after first seeing this film, I long to revisit what I enjoyed- and like an oddly pleasing pressure point, endure the parts of the film that irked me.

    The film, based on LaBute's stage play and featuring all the original actors, depicts a metaphorical and artificial conceit owing to such sources as Pygmalion and Genesis. Without revealing the central conceit, the unraveling of which, may surprise viewers, the plot is as follows: Adam (Paul Rudd) a truly nerdy museum guard meets Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) an "art terrorist" to quote LaBute. As the relationship progresses, Evelyn gradually persuades Adam to change his appearance and lifestyle. After getting a nose job (Rudd sports a hilarious prosthetic in the film's first half), several pounds, and a bad haircut, the handsome Rudd as we have come to know him finally emerges in the latter half of the film: the fruit, if you will, of Evelyn's labors. Jenny (Gretchen Mol) and Philip (Fred Weller)- an engaged couple and Adam's friends- seek to intervene, complicating the plot's outcome.

    The story is told entirely through these four characters using point-and-shoot setups. In other words, this film is pure dialogue: rhythmic, intelligent, but inherently artificial and contrived. Frequently the characters sputtering out these pungent and quirky lines seem more like marionettes to LaBute's writerly wit than thinking, breathing entities.
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    8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    'The Shape of Things' has gifted acting talents marred by the self-indulgent director. I'm talking about Rachel Weisz and Neil LaBute, and if you love Ms. Weisz, anyway you like the film, no matter what taste it leaves in your mouth. One thing is clear; she can act, but has a straneg penchant for selecting the wrong project.

    This film is based on the London stage production (in which Rachel Weisz was in), about four young art college students. Weisz is sexy and independent-thinking Evelyn, who meets an unassuming, slightly geeky boy Adam (Paul Rudd) in a museum. After the surprisingly light, casual conversations exchanged between them, they start to date each other.

    Naturally, it is Evelyn who leads the relations between them, and she changes Adam into a more sophisticated, attractive guy. As this metamorphosis is going on, Adam's realtions with other friends (and a couple in love with one another) Jenny and Philip begin to be influenced, not always in a favorable way.

    Neil LaBute loves controversial matters and shows it full-scale. I don't discuss the ending, or Evelyn's personality, but the origin of the film is too clear. 'The Shape of Things' is an inverted version of 'My Fair Lady' (to which the film refers briefly), and well, the diretor surely made the point.

    But the film cannot hide its too stagy nature, and more damaging thing is, though the film is impressive in revealing the hidden (so he supposes) motives in our relations, more cool, rational thinking would inevitably lead you to the conclusion that the film's characters are just cyphers. If you know, directly or indirectly, someone who acts like Evelyn, please raise your hand. No one?
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Rachel and a mirror to take a look October 14, 2003
    Labute made a good work in the direction of the ascendent Rachel Weisz and the funny and good partner Rudd. All of the characters involve in this film are so regular, like many others moralist in our world. This kind of cruelty is so common in many places with our current modern lives. All the staff understand this and show us regular people in regular situations with regular and raw ends. Noone like the sweettest Weisz to show us the cruelty between loving people that we live every day.
    My wife still hate the movie, she can't believed that people like them exist but she know very well where to found them. Good movie to hate and remember in some crucial ocasions.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    I collect DVDs,I have over 3,500 and this is part of the collection
    Published 3 days ago by R D F
    5.0 out of 5 stars Twisted "Romance"
    What happens when you believe what you want to believe, instead of what your eyes and ears are telling you? Read more
    Published 10 months ago by orbital chaos
    2.0 out of 5 stars narcissistic sociopath
    the art student is a narcissistic sociopath who has no heart or conscience. She is a disgusting human being who has no compassion or empathy. Read more
    Published 14 months ago by gkipnes
    5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising
    What's truthful here is the idea that people fool themselves. What you think is there really isn't because your need to believe trumps everything else. Read more
    Published 17 months ago by Sufi66
    1.0 out of 5 stars Wretchedly dull...
    & flat & woodenly acted & pretentious & boring as hell. An imitation of an imitation of a derivative of something...but lord knows what.
    Published 18 months ago by inframan
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Provacative
    A great and provocative film for adults. This a film that suggests that manipulation is at the heart of all relationships.
    Published 21 months ago by Polaris
    3.0 out of 5 stars Almost unique. Interesting and horrifying at once
    Watching this is defiantly an experience you can only have once like the car wreck that finally kills you. Read more
    Published 22 months ago by General Pete
    1.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler Alert
    Warning don't read further if you don't want to know the big reveal.

    So we find out the main twist is that a semi attractive girl can manipulate an unattractive man over... Read more
    Published 24 months ago by J. Hartigan
    1.0 out of 5 stars super snoozefest
    This is beyond slow and boring. It takes relationship flicks to a whole other level of stupid. Honestly, I started to fast forward and just stopped on Grechen Mol's scenes. Read more
    Published on November 11, 2011 by Brian Maitland
    1.0 out of 5 stars Horribly dreadful
    The script was a crude cut of awkward comments on a backdrop of unlikely events (in the sense of no intelligent human would would go about things in these manners). Read more
    Published on September 20, 2011 by rawrpixelkitten
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