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A STORY OF LOVE LOST AND FOUND...
on 5 July 2005
This film, which sort of promised another "Single White Female" or "Fatal Attraction" in the trailers, delivers something else altogether. Matthew (Josh Hartnett), a young, handsome, Chicago businessman is scheduled to leave for China on a business trip. While on a business lunch, shortly before his departure, he suddenly hears a voice that brings back memories. He catches a glimpse of the woman speaking and believes her to be Lisa (Diane Kruger), the woman whom he passionately loved two years before but who had totally and mysteriously disappeared from his life, seemingly without a trace. As she rushes out of the restaurant, Matthew is unable to catch up with her, as his current girl friend is with him.
Still, he is so taken with what he thinks that he has heard and seen that he decides to chuck his trip to China and, instead, search for his heart's desire. His best friend, Luke (Matthew Lillard), helps him, after Matthew lays it out for him. Meanwhile, Luke is having his own troubles with Alex (Rose Byrne), his current main squeeze. Matthew's investigative efforts eventually lead him to an apartment that he believes to be Lisa's, only to find another woman there who calls herself Lisa but who is not the Lisa that he is looking for. To his surprise, this Lisa seems to have the hots for him, and he initially responds accordingly.
Nonethelees, he continues the search for his Lisa, and the viewer eventually sees them pass each other, as two ships in the night, so close, yet so far, seemingly kept apart by fate. Will they ever connect, and why have they not managed to find each other before this? These are the questions that the viewer begins to ask, and it is this that is at the crux of the film. There is more than fate at work here. There is an obstacle to their reunion, and what that obstacle is and why will soon become apparent to the viewer.
The first half of the movie is told with numerous flashbacks, as the director weaves in what happened two years before with the current state of affairs (pun intended). Unfortunately, it is done in such a clumsy way as to leave the viewer somewhat confused. The second half of the film is much better, as the flashbacks appear to make more sense and the veil begins to be lifted. The film actually starts to achieve some semblance of coherence and clarity. The eventual interconnection between the characters is interesting, but what the film delivers to the viewer is a far cry from what was promised by the film's trailers.
Rose Byrne gives an excellent performance in a role that demands much from her. Matthew Lillard is fun to watch, as always. Josh Hartnett, to my surprise, as I am a fan of his, gives a performance that is almost laughable. I was actually embarrassed for him. Diane Kruger does a credible job with her role. Still, given the direction of the film, it is easy to see why this film bombed at the box office.