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Piper Perabo stars as Jen Marshall, an LA girl with a reckless personality and a laundry list of burned bridges. When Jen returns to New York and unexpected tragedy strikes, it is up to her mistreated friends to decide between helping her through this tough time or abandoning her - like she did them.
Starring Piper Perabo (The Prestige, Coyote Ugly), and featuring Mary Beth Hurt (Lady in the Water), Heather Burns (Miss Congeniality), Aunjanue Ellis (Freedomland, Ray); Seth Meyers (Saturday Night Live) and Nick Scotti (Kiss Me, Guido).
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In this movie she is the emotionally unsettled daughter of a mentally unsound couple of paranoid obsessives. Piper gets to act her heart out, trying on every nuance at her disposal; unfortunately she cannot quite save this film which simply tries to take on too many issues. Let's list some of the ground the writing covers:
*the penal system
Arguably this movie is intended as a black comedy, but the overall mood of Perception is too brooding and depressed to work on this level most of the time. I think it could have been a gem if it just looked at one or two of the themes it addresses and looked at them well. Piper Perabo's presence and transparency are the only things that save Perception from completely being a drag, a well-known drag.
Piper plays the part well, but the theme is depressing without much to say in general. It lacks real comic relief anywhere, and lacks real message.
Jen (Piper Perabo) is a funky, grossly outfitted bleach blond who has returned home from Los Angles to care for her emotionally disturbed parents (Mark Dobies and Mary Beth Hurt) but she seems to outdo any manifestation of their mental abnormalities. She is stuck in a meaningless relationship with a female animal activist (Heather Burns) and trying to stave off her ex-boyfriend (Seth Meyers) while walking among friends like Aunjanue Ellis, a druggie, Ajay Naidu, a Pakistani importer, and a cop Nick Scotti. She is struck by a truck and becomes paralyzed and seems to want to get a grip on her life, but her 'friends' don't go along. To say more would waste what little interest there is to glean from this tale.
Those who have followed Piper Perabo's career may be hoping that this starring role may offer her the chance for a jump-start. Sadly the script and atmosphere are so lacking that this film is probably one she will choose to not list on her resume. Grady Harp, September 06
This film is really, really bad. Save your time and skip it. It is the story of a young woman from a mentally ill family who seems either very dysfunctional or mentally ill herself. She has a few relationships with people she treats very poorly. She experiences a life-changing event and decides to value her relationships, but it appears to be too late. The movie ends in a very ungratifying, depressing way, consistent with the general tenor of the movie.
The acting is poor, the plot skips all over the place, and several things make no sense at all. Worst of all, after watching it, I felt quite depressed, and I didn't beforehand.
Definitely not recommended.