The Shape of Things

Neil LaBute returns to his mean, mean roots in this nasty Pygmallion piece about an artist who reshapes a nerdy boy into Paul Rudd. Very mannered acting and an artificial script highlight the human terrors of love and deceit. If you don’t go for that sort of thing, and prefer your acting naturalistic and your stories sweet and upbeat, you’ll probably hate Shape of Things. It has all the marks of a filmed play, and then those marks are re-marked, highlighted and printed in 48-point type. Then they jump around and beat up on your emotions, and then in the end everything gets worse. Actually, the ending is great, and even if the first 70 minutes are bugging you, stick around for the fireworks, because Adam (Paul Rudd) and Eve (Rachel Weisz) really get down to the heart of art and the stomach of love, and then they come out the other end, all steaming and glistening in the noon-day sun. It may not smell pretty, but it looks fabulous.

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