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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars JOSH HARTNETT AT HIS BEST
WARNING: SPOILERS TOWARDS THE END...I went into this movie thinking that it would be an entirely different thing, more fatal attraction than what it actually was. However, seeing the movie, I can understand how some people might feel as if they were jipped because the actual movie is different than what the previews make it out to be, but the truth of it is, this movie...
Published on January 4, 2005 by Y. ji

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars [3.5]--Intrusively Over-directed but a good film.
When "arty" direction becomes a distraction, it becomes over-done and that's exactly what happens in this film. It also has enough plot holes to drive a Mac truck through. I'd been meaning to watch this for a while, but the sexual explicit looking cover and the blurb, made me think it would be weak-plotted but that certainly wasn't the case. The storyline is composed of...
Published on September 5, 2006 by Jenny J.J.I.


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars JOSH HARTNETT AT HIS BEST, January 4, 2005
By 
Y. ji (los angeles, california) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wicker Park (DVD)
WARNING: SPOILERS TOWARDS THE END...I went into this movie thinking that it would be an entirely different thing, more fatal attraction than what it actually was. However, seeing the movie, I can understand how some people might feel as if they were jipped because the actual movie is different than what the previews make it out to be, but the truth of it is, this movie tells about the consequences of how one person can affect all those around them. In this way, I believe that its more real life than hollywood. Although I admit, the movie can be slow in the middle, especially when the viewer figures out whats happening and whats going to happen faster than the movie moves, it is towards the end where the plot really starts to pick up and I guarantee you, at the very end when Josh Hartnett and Diane Kruger are just about to find each other, but yet keep on missing each other by fate, you literally want to scream and throw something because you want it as much as they do. Its a great movie, but only for those that can appreciate it for what it is, a story about unbreakable love between two people struggling to get through all odds and accept it for what its not, a high-paced thriller.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love makes you do crazy things, insane things., September 25, 2006
This review is from: Wicker Park (DVD)
I was very skeptical when I started this film. I thought it was going to be another - boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy mopes around for awhile before he gets girl back- film. I was sorely mistaken.

Josh Hartnett plays Matthew who is on his way to Shanghai for business, when he spots who he thinks is the girl that left him high and dry two years before, Lisa, played by Diane Kruger (was Helen in 'Troy'). So lying to his new girlfriend he instead tries to track down Lisa. Following a trail of what, to him, could lead only to Lisa. He does a few things that make you question his sanity. When he finally reaches the end of the trail the girl he does find, Lisa/Alex, played by Rose Byrne. Obviously not his Lisa. But there is something sinister lurking behind the story of this girl and there are far too many coincidences connecting the two women.

Hartnett is wonderfully tortured, lost, confused, but at the same time so determined to find the love of his life. His film roles are steadily getting better and better.

Byrne demands sympathy from the viewer, bringing a whole new meaning to "I saw him first." Matthew Lillard is great as Hartnett's best friend, Luke, who is trying to support him but at the same time, knock some sense into him.

This was a great film. By the end of it I wanted Hartnett to find his closure so bad that I found myself yelling " NO" every time a new obstacle was thrown in his way.

The final scene is exquisite and touching. A perfect ending to a fantastic film.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars O Lisa! Lisa! Wherefore Art Thou Lisa?, September 5, 2004
This film vacillates between romance, mystery and occasional flashes of humor, and the story is accompanied by a varied and sometimes overly loud sountrack. It is simultaneously a story of lost opportunities, the search for closure, and the pursuit of a dream (or is it a romantic obsession?) sequenced in an interesting and clever manner by Director Paul McGuigan. It is almost two hours in length and the storyline takes shape slowly at the beginning, so a theatergoer should be prepared for it to take a while to become involved with the characters and for the pace to accelerate.

The movie opens with Matt (Josh Hartnett) rushing to a Chicago restaurant to meet his girlfriend and her family before he is scheduled to leave for Shanghai on a business trip. (He is employed by his girlfriend's brother.) Luke (Matthew Lillard), an old friend who does not know that Matt has returned to Chicago from living in NYC, spots him on the street as he is about to enter the restaurant and Matt promises that they will get together when he returns from China. While making a visit to the restroom after using the pretext of the need to make a phone call (apparently he doesn't own a cell phone) when the discussion of marriage was brought up, Matt accidentally overhears a phone conversation involving a woman who apparently fears for her safety. Once he concentrates upon the call, he is convinced it is the voice of his former girlfriend Lisa, who mysteriously disappeared overnight two years ago. Her unexplained absence after failing to meet her for a planned rendezvous in WICKER PARK caused the heartbreak which resulted in his decision to move to NYC. The woman rushes from the restaurant before he can confront her, but he finds a hotel key left folded in a newspaper in the phone booth. One of the few predictable moments in the movie occurs when Matt decides he has to attempt to locate the woman and determine if it is indeed Lisa, with whom he is still obsessed.

So, Matt's odyssey begins. He enlists Luke's help, who is of course stunned that Matt would postpone his business trip and take the chance of completely ruining his current relationship. However, in a flashback we soon discover that Luke played a significant role in Matt's initial meeting with Lisa (Diane Kruger). Furthermore, the state of Luke's relationship with his girlfriend and budding actress Alex (Rose Byrne) leaves a lot to be desired. The complexity of the interrelationships betwen the characters is gradually revealed, and while the surprise at the center of the story is not as great as that in the SIXTH SENSE, many of the same cinematic techniques of time shifting, misdirection, and well disguised clues are employed. Since I do not want to include any spoilers, I will simply summarize the story by saying that the tension builds gradually as the degree of the manipulation resulting from the romantic obsession of one of the characters is gradually revealed.

This is not a film for moviegoers who like linear plot expositions and easily categorizable stories. The element which causes it to rise above the usual mundane two or three star film about a manipulative psycho acting out a romantic fantasy is the structure of the film. The story is told in very nonlinear fashion, with cuts to flashbacks of events two years ago becoming more frequent as the film proceeds. Flashbacks to events that have just transpired are also interspersed, but these are experienced from the point of view of other than the primary narrator Matt. On occasion the technique was disorienting until I became accustomed to it, because the viewer has to figure out when the action is occuring. But if you stay alert, it was a very efective way of illuminating the events involved and adding contex through the rapidly changing perspectives. I definitely would have to watch the film again in order to see how often such juxtapositions could actually be recognized by an alert moviegoer and how many were totally a function of utilizing closeups which obscured the totality of the action. In summary, this is a technically interesting and well acted film telling a moderately interesting. The tension is palpable, because the viewer is never sure until the end whether it is primarily a romance or a psyhological thriller. (I certainly won't tell!) In conclusion, this is a story of both shattered lives and restored dreams.

Tucker Andersen
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rose Byrne: Sensational. 'Nuff Said!, July 27, 2008
By 
Jeff Rundberg (North Bend, Oregon) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wicker Park (DVD)
I'll try not to make this sound like a love letter to Rose Byrne, but I apologize in advance if it comes across as such. I hope people will agree with me when I say that her performance alone makes this movie a must see.

Rose is not the only reason this movie is great. It is a heart-wrenching, tragic love story/mystery brought to life with stunning visual style. Wicker Park is a moving painting augmented by a poetic story. It is a tale of a man, Matthew (played by Josh Hartnett) desperately searching for a lost love, Lisa (Diane Kruger). The film is told in a non-linear fashion and key plot points are revealed at precisely the right time to keep the viewer guessing. This is kind of a spoiler; but the reason his love is lost is because of the manipulative scheming of Alex (Rose Byrne's character). She falls hopelessly in love with Matthew from afar before he even knows who she is. Without too much trouble she is able to devise a plan which allows her to break up the lovers and at the same time get close to Matthew. That's the details of this particular film, but what it boils down to is a classic theme: person A loves person B while person C loves person A. Unfortunately person A essentially doesn't know that person C exists. It's a basic story that almost everyone can relate to in some form or another.

Okay back to the main subject of my review. Yes, Josh Hartnett is well cast and Diane Kruger is adequate in her role, but the real star of the show is Rose Byrne. Her character is not fully revealed until 45 minutes into the film, but from that moment on, you will forever be under her spell. Rose is perfectly cast. No one can say as much with just their eyes and facial expressions as Rose Byrne can. Love, hurt, anger, fear, sadness, remorse, embarrassment, and elation are all easily displayed without so much as a word. And what a beautiful face it is, her eyes alone make me weak. Thankfully the filmmakers were aware of this and took full advantage; frequently shooting her in close-up.

Rose's character Alex can easily be seen as the villain because she does everything in her power to keep Matthew and Lisa apart. Just like in real life, however, everything isn't black and white. "Love makes you do crazy things," as Rose's character declares. It depends on who you personally identify with. Different viewers will sympathize with different characters, and that is a credit to the dramatic story and to the filmmakers.

As mentioned earlier, Wicker Park is beautifully photographed and edited (split screen is used frequently to great effect) and the music/score enhances every scene perfectly. Ideally I would give this movie 4.5 stars if I could (I reserve the five stars for a select few) and I can't think of many better ways to spend two hours.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars [3.5]--Intrusively Over-directed but a good film., September 5, 2006
By 
This review is from: Wicker Park (DVD)
When "arty" direction becomes a distraction, it becomes over-done and that's exactly what happens in this film. It also has enough plot holes to drive a Mac truck through. I'd been meaning to watch this for a while, but the sexual explicit looking cover and the blurb, made me think it would be weak-plotted but that certainly wasn't the case. The storyline is composed of flashbacks and that didn't affect my enjoyment of this film, despite its momentary confusion!

The beginning didn't satisfy me completely, but I stuck with it. At first glance, it appeared disjointed, vaguely incoherent and kind of hard to follow, but as it went on, it became clear that this might be a film I'd have to maybe watch a second time to appreciate it on the level it actually meant to be appreciated on. This can't be described as a perfect film, but, to anyone who can identify with it will certainly interest you and leave you with a number of angles to view it from.

All the cast deliver a great performances. Hartnett is entirely believable as the haunted young man, caught up in a whirlwind of romances that threaten to destroy him, with good support from Matthew Lillard as his snazzy best friend, and Byrne and Kruger providing captivating female parts. Although a romance, it didn't feel soppy, more tense actually (you end up hitting a lot of things while watching), until the final scene-which gives you a real warm fuzzy feeling!

In case you want to see the original, reverse to L'Appartement. The original actors are Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci which isn't bad, they met and fell in love on the set! You may have noticed the name of the restaurant in Wicker Park...no?... it's Bellucci's ;)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Josh Hartnett Never Disappoints..., December 7, 2009
This review is from: Wicker Park (DVD)
Josh Hartnett is an extremely talented actor. This movie stirred up just about every emotion inside me. Bliss, happiness, anger, lividness, fear, confusion, enlightment, relief, butterflies in my stomach--the list goes on. I didn't really expect much, to tell you the truth... but once again, Josh proves that he can pull you into a movie and keep you glued to your chair. He's not just another pretty boy actor. The man's got talent!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best surprises of 2005!!!!, December 29, 2005
By 
Wayne C. Rogers "Wayne C. Rogers" (Las Vegas, Nevada United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wicker Park (DVD)
Like most of the other reviewers, I thought Wicker Park was going to be a low budget thriller with some racy sex scenes in it. In fact, I didn't expect much from the movie and thought that I wouldn't like it. The movie sat on my shelf for three weeks before I finally stuck it into the DVD player out of pure

boredom. I won't go into the plot of the movie. You can get that from many of the other reviews. WhatI will say is that I found myself hooked about halfway through the film when I began to realize that this was a love story and not a thriller. Though I'm not a big Josh Harnett fan, he won me over and had me rooting for him during the last third of the movie. The ending (to my surprise) brought tears to my eyes. That seldom happens when I watch a movie, unless you count The Notebook, A Message In A Bottle, The Bridges of Madison County, Made In Heaven, and Somewhere In Time. This is definitely a movie that I want to watch again, which is saying a lot because I see so many movies that do absolutely nothing for me emotionally. Wicker Park was a most pleasant surprise that tugged at my heart and had me wondering why I couldn't find someone to love as strongly as the character seem to do in this film. That's the reason I'm giving it 5 Stars. It accomplished what I think the director set out to do, which was to tell a story about lost love and how everyone can experience it and what we'll do to get it back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great couples film, April 9, 2005
This review is from: Wicker Park (DVD)
Just got done watching this movie and I've got to say I thought it was an excellent film.

Now this isn't "film noir" or "story development" professional criticism here--I'm speaking strictly from the perspective of a guy who likes relationship films (case in point, Vanilla Sky is my favorite film).

Wicker Park was in theaters for all of 2 weeks and the preview just wasn't strong enough for me to care that much (seemed too nutty).

But in all sincerity the movie's really emotionally wrenching, in a good way. It builds slowly, switching between the past and present to develop the movie's plot. And the acting plays out extremely well also, w/ impressive performances from the entire cast.

I give it 4 stars because I don't want to build anyone's expectations prior to watching it. But my own true personal rating is five stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Josh Hartnett gives one of his best performances so far, January 8, 2005
By 
Michael Bolts (superior, wiusa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wicker Park (DVD)
Josh Hartnett (Hollywood Homicide, The Faculty) plays Matt who one night while on business at a restaurant with his girlfriend, hears his ex-flame Lisa's voice and see's her run out and that's when he starts to become drawn back to her, reproducing those memories from way back when they were together and how she left him standing at Wicker Park. So he goes on a hunt for her, finding out where she is and thinking about meeting her and what to say, what to do but when he finally meets her, she doesnt appear to be the woman he was looking for. Instead it's some other Lisa, brown haired not blonde. So he gives up hope on the blonde Lisa but starts to see the brown haired Lisa and that Lisa is not Lisa..you getting me so far..she's actualyl Lisa's friend and happens to be obsessed with Hartnett and stalking him. Matthew Lillard (Scooby Doo, Without A Paddle) plays Hartnett's friend who gets entangled into the story as welland is just a pawn in the stalking woman's little thing with Hartnett. She's an actress who happened to become friends with Hartnett's Lisa. Good script with some good performances, especially by Hartnett, giving his best to date and also Lillard because it's hard not to hate Lillard because he's Shaggy man. Some Hitchcock styler direction also does the work and the movie is confusing in a lot of spots but then the story fills in full circle when it does and it works out perfectly. The end was like a race to the finish. It was just one of those films where you can sit back, relax and enjoy because it's watchable. Also starring Diane Krueger (Troy, National Treasure)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great romantic drama, January 3, 2005
By 
Ron (Massachussetts) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wicker Park (DVD)
I don't usually go for romantic movies, but this one was incredible. It was hyped as a suspense thriller, but it's really nothing of the sort - it's more like drama or Shakespearean comedy. However, if you forget about the misleading hype, you'll find this is an absolutely wonderful movie to watch with the person you love. The movie makes use of coincidences, but I think that's a valid plot device when the story involves mistaken identities (see "Comedy of Errors", for example). The story hooks you and keeps you interested throughout, and this is perhaps the most one can ask of any movie. Great dramatic entertainment, full of twists, and the ending is beautiful. One of the most well-made and artfully crafted movies to come out in a while.
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Wicker Park
Wicker Park by Paul McGuigan
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