Wednesday, August 13, 2008


A movie.

It takes its title from a book that circulates amongst the characters.

The book promises quick solutions to difficult life problems.

We see the characters and their problems. We see they have the book--each of them comes across it differently.

Than at a few points each's story is interrupted for a voiceover passage from the book, explaining how their problem could be 'solved,' more or less instantly, or sometimes long and painfully.

The book's advice is very strange and completely out of touch with the complex realities of human suffering.

The characters never try these solutions, or only do so half-heartedly.

Indeed, we're not sure if they've really read the book, or merely happen to come across it, and then the book's edifying wisdom is shared with the viewer.

Instead, the characters continue to screw up their lives in yet more creative ways.

Remarkably, some of their lives get better--quite suddenly, either through a change of heart, or through chance.

Others just continue on in the same ruts with no end in sight.

A comedy.

--E. R. O'Neill

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