Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Human Nature


Charlie Kaufman is one of my favorite screenplay writers, with a totally unique way at looking at life. Just consider these films: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, and Adaptation. (He doesn’t always hit it out of the park. I wasn’t too impressed by Anomalisa or Synecdoche, New York.) This movie is somewhere between those home runs and strikeouts. Patricia Arquette is a woman afflicted with hypertrichosis, which causes hair to grow all over her body. She meets Rhys Ifans, a man raised by his father—not an ape but a misanthrope—in the forest, leading to his capture by a repressed scientist, Tim Robbins, who is currently engaged in a project to teach table manners to mice. A lot of this stuff is hilarious, but some is disturbing, including the scientist’s “teaching” methods, which involve a lot of electric shocks. There are many twists and turns, most of them totally absurd. No point in detailing them all, better if you discover them for yourself. That is, if you like this sort of thing. I liked most of it.