Wicker Park is a film with a plot that is hard to define. It's hard to define because it may not really exist. There are twists and turns, but in many ways it sort of feels like the end result of a thematic Mad Lib Â© or Choose Your Own Adventure Â©. It'd be hard to describe the movie at all without at least describing what happens and perhaps giving some of the movie away.
Josh Hartnett plays Matthew. There are no first person narratives to set the tone, only the opening credits to signify this is Chicago. Hartnett has been described as a duller and less emotive Keanu Reeves. His droopiness serves him well for this role. Matthew seems to be going through this phase of his life in a slumber. Of course, the plot events conveniently happen to carry out the needs of the script. Many of these plot events are not believable. Matthew is apparently a gifted advertising campaign manager after only a couple of years in the business and a previous career as a VCR technician. Matthew is to meet a key account at dinner that night before heading to China to meet with the parent company of the key customer. He of course is supposed to do this alone, even though he barely looks to be older than 24. At dinner, we meet Matthew's first love interest of the movie. (The movie is not told chronologically). Rebecca is the sister of Matthew's 'mentor' at the agency (perhaps 28 himsefl). Matthew and Rebecca are apparently engaged, but Matthew needs to use the phone.
It's this first few uses of the phone that begins an incongruous dalliance with telecommunications. Matthew has a cell phone, but heads to the pay phone. At the pay phone, his medicated sleepiness causes him to see Lisa, his great love from just two years ago (possibly at college).
Matthew skips out on his trip to China to chase down Lisa. For some reason, he can't call her. He must find ways to break into her apartment or leave notes with a bartender. While chasing Lisa, Matthew meets Alex. It's through Alex's eyes that we also flash back and forth in history and POV. This awkward love 'square' needs to be resolved. The rest of the movie tries to do just that.
Besides Hartnett, this cast seemed new and fresh to me. This helped me believe the characters and their on screen emotions. Had this been a cast of familiar characters, even the acting would have not held my interest. It's the characters that keep the movie progressing since the plot just seems to happen.
This is not quite a mystery, not quite a romance drama, and not pure drama either. It's some commentary on morality, fate, and perspective. Worth watching, but probably not owning.
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