Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2002. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Catch 23 Entertainment, Killer Films, Laughlin Park Pictures. Screenplay by Mark Romanek. Cinematography by Jeff Cronenweth. Produced by Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon, Stan Wlodkowski. Music by Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek. Production Design by Tom Foden. Costume Design by Arianne Phillips. Film Editing by Jeffrey Ford. Online Film Critics Awards 2002.
The slick photography and crafty direction of this film are definitely reasons to admire it, but the entire story is too routine for words. Robin Williams plays a dry, lonely department store photo developer whose obsession with happiness leads him to closely follow the lives of a seemingly happy family: wealthy architect father (Michael Vartan), pristinely pretty housewife mother (Connie Nielsen) and picture-perfect little boy. Williams observes their life through their photographs, until his need to get closer leads to him to actually invade their lives with dangerous results. You’ve never looked at anything quite like it, but you’ve definitely seen sociopath character studies of the like many times before, and Williams’s one-note performance doesn’t help beat the familiarity of it all.